EU-Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) relations

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The EU has a policy of critical engagement towards the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). Its goals are to support a lasting diminution of tensions on the Korean Peninsula and in the region, the upholding of the international non-proliferation regime and the improvement of the situation of human rights in the DPRK. It actively cooperates with all its partners in the region to pursue these objectives. 

 

EU Policy

(See also the Guidelines on the EU's Foreign and Security Policy in East Asia )           

The EU and the DPRK established diplomatic relations in 2001, but the political contacts had started earlier, with a political dialogue being held on a relatively regular basis since 1998. The most recent round of this dialogue (14th session) was held in June 2015 in Pyongyang. 

The EU and the DPRK have very different views on issues that are of major concern to the international community, in particular on the DPRK's weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile-related programmes, human rights and regional relations. 

In this context, the EU has been robustly implementing the resolutions of the UN Security Council (see section on Sanctions) and has been at the forefront of efforts aimed at improving the human rights situation in the country, including at UN level, in particular with the UN Human Rights Council and the UN General Assembly. It strongly supports the DPRK's substantial and credible re-engagement with the international community on all of these themes.

The EU has remained steadfast in its belief that dialogue and engagement with the DPRK are key to achieving a positive resolution of all above-mentioned issues of concern. The EU's own engagement with the DPRK manifests itself not just in regular contacts (including via the political dialogue) but also in concrete projects on the ground.

The EU has no Delegation in the DPRK. Its local representation is ensured, in turn, by one of the seven Member States (CZ, BG, DE, PL, RO, SE, and UK) that have resident Embassies in the country. In total, 26 Member States have diplomatic relations with the DPRK. The DPRK Embassy to the UK follows EU affairs. 

EU-funded projects in DPRK

The EU has been a provider of assistance (humanitarian and food aid) since 1995. Most of the projects it currently funds (under the responsibility of the European Commission) relate to food security, health, water and sanitation and are of benefit to the most vulnerable people in the DPRK's society. These projects are carried out by various implementing partners some of whom are resident in the country. Emergency aid remains available, should the need emerge, via the Commission. EU Member States have their own development and aid projects in the DPRK along complementary lines to those of the EU. 

Education and Research

Eligible beneficiaries, organisations and institutions of the DPRK may participate in the EU's research and innovation programmes, provided that conditions in the relevant work programme are met. EU Member States have their own education/cultural programmes open to DPRK citizens/entities. 

Trade and Investment 

EU-DPRK trade in goods in 2014 totalled EUR 34 million. In 2013 it was EUR 146 million, and in 2012 EUR 71 million. No data on trade in services is available. There are some investments in the DPRK of EU origin, but the overall amount appears to be very limited. The DPRK has concluded Bilateral Investment Protection Treaties with six Member States, five of which are in force. 

Restrictive Measures

The EU has adopted legal acts imposing restrictive measures on the DPRK. These legal acts implement several UN Security Council Resolutions - 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013) and 2094 (2013) - and include additional autonomous measures that complement and reinforce the UN-based sanctions. The relevant provisions are to be found in Council Decision 2013/183/CFSP of 22 April 2013 concerning restrictive measures against the DPRK and repealing Decision 2010/800 CFSP and Council Regulation (EC) No 329/2007 of 27 March 2007 concerning restrictive measures against the DPRK, both as amended. 

These measures are in essence targeted at the DPRK's nuclear-related, other weapons of mass destruction-related and ballistic missile-related programmes. They include prohibitions on the trade of goods, services and technology which could contribute to the DPRK’s above-mentioned illegal programmes. A number of people and entities that have been linked to these programmes have been subject to travel restrictions and asset freeze, both by the UN and autonomously by the EU. Other restrictions (in application of UN sanctions and/or as EU autonomous measure) also apply in the broader trade, transport and financial sectors. 

The lists of persons and entities subject to restrictive measures set out in Annex I, II and Annex III (currently empty) to Decision 2013/183/CFSP and Annex IV, V and Annex Va (currently empty) to Regulation (EC) No 329/2007. Following the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2270 (2016) on DPRK on 2 March, the Council Decision transposing the listings imposed by this Resolution was adopted on 4 March and published in the Official Journal  the following day (OJ L 60 5.3.2016, p.78).

 

 

EU restrictive measures against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) as in force on date of publication

Export and import restrictions

Arms

Prohibition on the export and import of arms and related materiel of all types, including a prohibition on the provision of related technical and financial assistance or taking part in activities aimed at the circumvention of those prohibitions.

Dual use goods

Prohibition on the export and import of goods and technology which could contribute to DPRK's nuclear-related, ballistic missile-related or other weapons of mass destruction-related programmes, as determined by the UN Security Council or the UN Sanctions Committee, including a prohibition on the provision of related technical and financial assistance or taking part in activities aimed at the circumvention of those prohibitions.

Prohibition on the export and import of certain other dual-use goods and technology, including dual-use goods as contained in Council Regulation (EC) No 428/2009 (“EU dual-use Regulation”), including a prohibition on the provision of related technical and financial assistance or taking part in activities aimed at the circumvention of those prohibitions.

Prohibition on the export and import of certain key components for the ballistic missile sector, including a prohibition on the provision of related technical and financial assistance, or taking part in activities aimed at the circumvention of those prohibitions.

Prohibition on the export and import of any other item that could contribute to DPRK’s nuclear or ballistic missile programmes, or to the evasion of prohibited activities, including a prohibition on the provision of related technical and financial assistance, or taking part in activities aimed at the circumvention of those prohibitions.

Gold, precious metals, diamonds

Prohibition on trade in gold, precious metals and diamonds with the government of DPRK, its public bodies and the Central Bank of DPRK, or persons and entities acting on their behalf or at their direction, including a prohibition on the provision of related technical and financial assistance.

Banknotes and coinage

Prohibition on the delivery of DPRK denominated banknotes and coinage to the Central Bank of DPRK.

Luxury goods

Prohibition on the export to DPRK of certain luxury goods or taking part in activities aimed at the circumvention of this prohibition.  

 

Restrictions on financial support for trade

Prohibition on provision of public financial support for trade with DPRK where such financial support could contribute to DPRK's nuclear-related, ballistic missiles-related or other weapons of mass destruction-related programmes or to other prohibited activities, or to the evasion of prohibited activities.

Financial sector

Financial assistance by Member States to DPRK

Prohibition on new commitments for grants, financial assistance and concessional loans to DPRK by Member States, except for humanitarian and developmental purposes addressing the need of the civilian population or the promotion of denuclearisation. Member States shall exercise vigilance with regard to reducing current commitments.

Monitoring of financial activities of financial institutions

Enhanced monitoring by Member States of activities of financial institutions within their jurisdiction in relation to their activities with regard to DPRK banks, branches and subsidiaries of DPRK banks and financial both inside and outside EU and, entities controlled by DPRK persons and entities, to avoid such activities contributing to DPRK's nuclear programme.

EU financial institutions are required in their activities with such banks and financial entities to exercise continuous monitoring of account activity, require completion of all information fields of payment instructions, maintain records of all transactions for a period of 5 years and report transactions they suspect may contribute to DPRK’s nuclear-related, ballistic missile-related or other weapons of mass destruction-related programmes to national competent authorities.

Branches, subsidiaries or corresponding banking relations

Prohibition for DPRK financial institutions, including the Central Bank of DPRK, to open new branches, subsidiaries or representative offices in EU.

DPRK banks may also no longer establish joint ventures with, take an ownership interest in EU banks or establish corresponding banking relations with EU banks.

DPRK banks may also no longer maintain corresponding banking relations with EU banks where there are reasonable grounds to believe that this could contribute to DPRK's nuclear or ballistic missiles programmes or to other prohibited activities, or to the evasion of prohibited activities.

Prohibition for EU banks to open representative offices, subsidiaries, branches or bank accounts in DPRK.

DPRK bonds

Prohibition on trade and related services for DPRK public or public-guaranteed bonds issued after 18 February 2013 with the Government of DPRK, the Central Bank of DPRK and other DPRK banks or financial institutions.

 

Transport sector

Inspections

Obligation for Member States to inspect all cargo to and from DPRK, and cargo brokered or facilitated by DPRK or DPRK nationals or persons or entities acting on their behalf, where there are reasonable grounds to believe that the cargo contains prohibited items.

Requirement to inspect vessels on the high seas where there are reasonable grounds to believe that vessels carry prohibited items.

Obligation for aircraft and vessels transporting cargo to and from DPRK to supply additional pre-arrival and pre-departure information for all goods brought into or out of EU.

Obligation to deny vessels which refuse inspection entry to an EU port.

Obligation to deny permission for airplanes to land in, take off or overfly EU territory, if there are reasons to believe that their cargo contains prohibited items.

It is also prohibited to take part in activities aimed at the circumvention of the above transport sector measures.

Bunkering

Prohibition on the provision of bunkering or ship supply services to DPRK vessels if there are reasonable grounds to believe that the vessels carry prohibited items, unless necessary for humanitarian purposes.

 

Restrictions on admission and residence

Restrictions on admission

Prohibition to admit to the territory of EU Member States persons responsible, including through supporting or promoting, for DPRK's nuclear-related, ballistic missile-related or other weapons of mass destruction-related programmes, and persons acting on their behalf or at their direction.

Prohibition to admit to the territory of EU Member States persons who provide financial services or the transfer to through or from EU territory of any financial or other assets or resources that could contribute to DPRK's nuclear-related, ballistic missile-related or other weapons of mass destruction-related programmes, or persons who are involved in the supply to or from DPRK of arms and related materiel of all types, or dual-use goods.

Prohibition to admit to the territory of EU Member States persons working on behalf of or at the direction of listed persons and entities, or persons assisting in the evasion of sanctions.

Humanitarian exemptions and certain other exemptions apply.

Restrictions on residence

Obligation to expulse DPRK nationals from the territory of EU Member States if a Member State determines that they work for a listed person or entity or help evade sanctions.

 

Freezing of funds and economic resources

Obligations to freeze all funds and economic resources belonging to the same persons as referred to under “restrictions on admission” and on entities involved in the activities mentioned above for “restrictions on admission”. It is also prohibited to make funds or economic resources available to these persons and entities. Likewise, it is prohibited to take part in activities aimed at the circumvention of those measures.

A number of standard exemptions apply, inter alia in relation to funds and economic resources necessary to satisfy basic needs and for the payment of legal services.

 

Other restrictive measures

Specialised teaching or training

Obligation for Member States to prevent specialised teaching or training of DPRK nationals in disciplines that could contribute to DPRK's proliferation sensitive nuclear activities and the development of nuclear weapon delivery systems.

DPRK diplomats

Obligation for Member States to exercise enhanced vigilance over DPRK diplomats in the EU so as to prevent them from contributing to DPRK's nuclear and ballistic missile programmes or other prohibited activities.

FOR FURTHER DETAILS:

Maja Kocijancic: +32 (0)498 984 425 - +32 (0)2 298 65 70 - Maja.Kocijancic@ec.europa.eu -  @MajaEUspox

Adam Kaznowski: +32 (0)460 753 293 - +32 (0) 2 29 89359 - Adam.Kaznowski@ec.europa.eu