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Security Council sharpens sanctions on DPR Korea in wake of ballistic missile launch

The Security Council.
UN Photo/JC McIlwaine
The Security Council.

Security Council sharpens sanctions on DPR Korea in wake of ballistic missile launch

Reiterating its condemnation of a December 2012 missile launch by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), the United Nations Security Council today more sharply targeted sanctions on that country, while again demanding an end to its nuclear and ballistic tests.

Among those named as targets of the travel ban and asset freeze of the sanctions regime are officials of the country’s missile launch facility and the satellite control centre, as well as a banking official involved in the construction of the missile, as listed in annexes to resolution 2087 (2013), adopted unanimously today by the 15-member body. Companies and committees involved in the launch are also named as subjects to the asset freeze.

Through the text, the Council also called on Member States to exercise “enhanced vigilance” in preventing the transfer of funds related to the DPRK’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles programmes.

It directed the UN sanctions committee dealing with DPRK to issue notices when vessel operators refuse to undergo inspection for cargo being imported into the country for those activities, and specified how States may dispose of embargoed items when they are confiscated, among other clarifications.

In the 12 December missile launch, a long-range Unha-3 rocket was reportedly launched from a site on the DPRK’s west coast. According to media reports, it soared over Okinawa, Japan, dropping debris into the sea off the Korean Peninsula, the East China Sea and waters near the Philippines.

In a condemnation issued immediately afterward, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that the test was all the more regrettable because it defied a unified and strong call from the international community, beside being a clear violation of Council resolution 1874 (2009), in which the Council demanded that the DPRK not conduct any launch using ballistic missile technology.

That resolution imposed additional sanctions on DPRK after previous demands that the country not conduct any further nuclear or missile tests went unheeded.

Through today’s text, the Council deplored violations of the sanctions, which were first imposed by resolution 1718 in 2006, and directed the committee to take appropriate action on reported evasions.

At the same time, it reaffirmed its desire for a peaceful, diplomatic solution to the situation and called for the resumption of the so-called Six Party Talks on the matter.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the adoption of the resolution in a statement issued by his spokesperson which stated: “Speaking with one voice, the Security Council reiterated its firm stance that the DPRK’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, including means of delivery, is unacceptable.”

Mr. Ban called on the DPRK to refrain from taking any measures that could exacerbate tensions on the Korean peninsula, including any further launches that use ballistic missile technology or a nuclear test.

The statement underlined the Secretary-General’s belief that dialogue is the only means to resolve the issue, including through the Six-Party Talks. “The Secretary-General renews his call on the DPRK authorities to work towards building confidence with neighbouring countries and improving the life of its people,” he said.