Security Council imposes sanctions on DPR Korea after its claimed nuclear test
Following intensive negotiations triggered earlier this month when the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) claimed to have conducted a nuclear test, the United Nations Security Council today imposed sanctions against the country as well as individuals supporting its military programme and demanded that Pyongyang cease its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction.
By a unanimously adopted resolution invoking Chapter VII of the UN Charter, which allows for enforcement measures, the Council also established a committee to track the sanctions and take action against violations.
The resolution condemned the 9 October test and demanded that DPRK “not conduct any further nuclear test or launch of a ballistic missile.”
It demanded that Pyongyang immediately retract its announced withdrawal from the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), return to that pact, and accept safeguards through the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
According to the binding resolution, “DPRK shall suspend all activities related to its ballistic missile programme and in this context re-establish its pre-existing commitments to a moratorium on missile launching.” The country also must “abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programmes in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner.”
Pyongyang must further abide by the NPT and IAEA Safeguards Agreements and provide the Agency “transparency measures extending beyond these requirements, including such access to individuals, documentation, equipments and facilities.”
DPRK must “abandon all other existing weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programme in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner.”
By the resolution, the Council decided that all Member States shall prevent the import from or export to the DPRK of “any battle tanks, armoured combat vehicles, large calibre artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missiles or missile systems” as well as “related materiel including spare parts” and other items determined by the sanctions committee.
Other items to be set out in separate lists were also banned, including those “which could contribute to DPRK's nuclear-related, ballistic missile-related or other weapons of mass destruction-related programmes.”
Also prohibited from export to the DPRK are luxury goods.
In addition, the resolution banned the import from or export to the country of technical training, advice, services or assistance related to the provision, manufacture, maintenance or use of the banned military items.
By other provisions of the text, the Council decided that all States must freeze immediately the funds, other financial assets and economic resources which are on their territories that are owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by the persons or entities designated by the committee or by the Security Council as being engaged in or providing support for DPRK's nuclear-related, other weapons of mass destruction-related and ballistic missile-related programmes or by persons or entities acting on their behalf or at their direction.
Persons designated by the committee “as being responsible for, including through supporting or promoting, DPRK policies in relation to the DPRK's nuclear-related, ballistic missile-related and other weapons of mass destruction-related programmes” are also subject to a travel ban, as are members of their families.
Aiming to prevent illicit trafficking in nuclear, chemical or biological weapons, the Council called on all Member States to cooperate including through inspection of cargo to and from the DPRK.
With respect to the financial sanctions, the Council allowed for some exemptions, deciding that the freeze should not apply to funds necessary for basic expenses, including payment for foodstuffs, rent or mortgage, medicines and medical treatment, taxes, insurance premiums, and public utility charges, “or exclusively for payment of reasonable professional fees and reimbursement of incurred expenses associated with the provision of legal services.”
With a notification, the committee can also approve exceptions for “extraordinary expenses.”
The committee can also, on a case-by-case basis, approve humanitarian exceptions to the travel ban, including for religious obligations.
All States are required to report to the Security Council within 30 days on measures they have taken to comply with the resolution.
Among other tasks, the committee, consisting of the same members as the Security Council, will examine and take action on information regarding alleged violations. It will report to the Council at least every 90 days.
The DPRK was called upon “to return immediately to the Six-Party Talks without precondition.” Those negotiations involve the two Koreas, Japan, China, the Russian Federation and the United States.
A representative of Pyongyang addressing the Council today said his country “totally rejects” the resolution. “It is gangster-like of the Security Council to have adopted today a coercive resolution while neglecting the nuclear threat and moves for sanctions and pressure of the United States against the DPRK,” he said. “This clearly testifies that the Security Council has completely lost its impartiality and still persists in applying double standards in its work.”
The 9 October underground nuclear test was conducted as a deterrent measure, he said, asserting that the initiative was “entirely activated by the United States nuclear threat, sanctions and pressure.” He said the DPRK is ready for both dialogue and confrontation. “If the US increases its pressure upon the Democratic People's Republic of Korea persistently, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea will continue to take physical countermeasures, considering it as a declaration of war.”
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