Nuclear Safety

North Korea: EU adopts further sanctions

16/10/2017 - 15:28
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The EU today adopted new sanctions in response to North Korea's missile programme, aiming to pressure Pyongyang into dialogue aiming at peaceful, verifiable denuclearisation. The sanctions complement and reinforce the UN Security Council sanctions, and take effect immediately.

mogherini, dprk, democratic people's republic of korea, asia, foreign affairs council

The Council of the European Union today imposed new autonomous sanctions on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in addition those set out in the latest UN Security Council Resolutions. Responding to the persistent threat to international peace and stability posed by the DPRK, the aim of these new targeted sanctions is to strengthen the economic pressure on the Pyongyang regime while keeping the door of dialogue open and encouraging a meaningful, political, diplomatic, peaceful solution to the crisis.

Speaking ahead of the Foreign Affairs Council this morning in Luxembourg, EU High Representative Federica Mogherini said: "The sanctions are envisaged exactly to put pressure to open a political path, to show that agreements that were the results of a combination of sanctions and political negotiations are preserved, especially if they work."

The new measures include:

  • a total ban on EU investment in the DPRK, in all sectors. The ban was previously limited to investment in the nuclear and conventional arms-related industry, in the sectors of mining, refining and chemical industries, metallurgy and metalworking and aerospace;
  • a total ban on the sale of refined petroleum products and crude oil to the DPRK. These exports were subject to certain limitations under the UN Security Council resolution of 11 September;
  • lowering the amount of personal remittances transferred to the DPRK from € 15 000 to € 5 000; as they are suspected of being used to support the country's illegal nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

In addition, with a view to eliminating remittances to the DPRK, the EU member states agreed not to renew work authorisations for DPRK nationals present on their territory, except for refugees and other persons benefiting from international protection.

The Council also added three persons and six entities supporting the illicit programmes to the lists of those subject to an asset freeze and travel restrictions. This brings the total number under restrictive measures against the DPRK as designated by the EU autonomously to 41 individuals and 10 entities. In addition, 63 individuals and 53 entities are listed by the UN.  

Ministers also agreed to actively lobby for a robust implementation of all relevant UN Security Council resolutions by all UN member states. Speaking to the press, Mogherini said that the EU will be working with third countries and partners to make sure they do implement the UN Security Council sanctions against the DPRK in their entirety. Due to the limited economic relations between European Union and DPRK the impact of these sanctions could be limited, but there are other countries that have relations with DPRK that can have a major impact on the regime. The EU has been strongly and consistently advocating for the full implementation of the sanctions by all players over recent months, with the aim of convincing Pyongyang to engage in a credible and meaningful process aimed at the peaceful, verifiable denuclearisation of the peninsula.

First and foremost, the EU points of reference are the regional players and strategic partners in the region, particularly the Republic of Korea. EU High Representative Mogherini and South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha will hold later this week a bilateral meeting to discuss, together with sanctions, what can be the diplomatic and political way forward to protect the global nuclear non-proliferation architecture and avoid the risk of a military escalation in the region.