US proposes inspection of all cargo going in and out of North Korea

The United States has tabled a draft UN Security Council resolution, backed by China, that, if adopted, would impose stronger set of sanctions against North Korea.

The proposal comes in response to North Korea’s recent nuclear test and missile launch. Moreover, the initiative for stronger sanctions emerged amid recent UN Security Council panel’s report on Korean shipping companies’ continuous dodging of US-imposed sanctions deeming them inefficient.

In particular, North Korean shipping company Ocean Maritime Management Company Limited (OMM) continues to evade sanctions by operating foreign-flagged ships for illegal arms shipments to the Middle East and exporting ballistic-missile technology to Africa.

As a result, the new resolution calls for all cargo going in and out of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, to be subjected to mandatory inspection. For the first time, all small arms and other conventional weapons would be prohibited from being sold to the DPRK. In addition, this resolution would impose financial sanctions targeting DPRK banks and assets, and ban all dual-use nuclear and missile-related items.

“These sanctions – if adopted – would send an unambiguous and unyielding message to the DPRK regime: the world will not accept your proliferation; there will be consequences for your actions, and we will work relentlessly and collectively to stop your nuclear program,” said Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations.

According to Power, also for the first time, the Security Council would impose sectoral sanctions on the DPRK – limiting, and in some instances banning outright, exports from the DPRK of coal, iron, gold, titanium, and rare earth minerals, and banning the supply to the DPRK of aviation fuel, including – notably – rocket fuel.

“These measures would also ground DPRK flights suspected of carrying contraband. Suspicious vessels carrying illicit items would be denied access to ports,” she adds.

What is more, these sanctions would make it much harder for the DPRK to raise the funds, import the technology, and acquire the know-how to advance its illicit nuclear and ballistic missile programs.  

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