On March 2, Ambassador Samantha Power, the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, gave an explanation about the adoption of U.N. Security Council Resolution 2270 regarding sanctions on North Korea. These are excerpts of those remarks.
… With each nuclear test and launch using ballistic missile technology, the DPRK improves its capability to carry out a nuclear missile attack, not only in the region but also a continent away … North Korea is the only country in the entire world that has conducted a nuclear test in the 21st century. In fact, it has conducted not one nuclear test, but four — in 2006, 2009, 2013 and now, 2016. It is also the only U.N. Member State that routinely threatens other countries with nuclear annihilation, including multiple members of this Council on different occasions.
… The DPRK has been able to exploit gaps and evade measures aimed at impeding its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, and we’ve put in place new measures to fill those gaps, one by one. Let me give just a few of many examples of how the resolution adopted today does this.
North Korea generates a significant share of the money it uses to fuel its nuclear and ballistic missile programs by mining natural resources — often exploiting workers in slave-like conditions — and selling those resources abroad. For example, it is estimated that the DPRK brings in approximately $1 billion a year in coal exports, roughly a third of the revenue it earns from exports, and it brings in at least $200 million a year in iron ore exports. That is why the resolution we have adopted today limits, and in some instances bans outright, North Korea’s exports of specific natural resources, making it tougher for the government to get the money it needs to keep funding its illicit weapons programs.
Until today, in many countries around the world, inspectors required information providing reasonable grounds to inspect cargo coming into and going out of North Korea. So the DPRK and its suppliers took the ballistic missile parts, nuclear technology, and other illicit items they needed to build weapons of mass destruction, and they buried them deep in otherwise unsuspicious loads on airplanes, ships, and trucks coming into the country. The DPRK used similar tactics to hide the illegal items it was exporting — such as weapons, drugs, and counterfeit goods — which it used to generate a significant amount of additional income. That is why, under this resolution, cargo going into and coming out of North Korea will be treated as suspicious, and countries will be required to inspect it, whether it goes by air, land, or sea. This is hugely significant.
North Korea used to be able to import aviation fuel, which included rocket fuel used to launch proscribed ballistic missiles. Not anymore. The resolution adopted today bans all imports of aviation fuel, including rocket fuel.
For years, the DPRK deployed arms dealers, smugglers, financiers and other enablers of its illicit weapons programs and claimed that they were diplomats and government representatives around the world. Abusing diplomatic protections, these individuals cut illicit deals, set up shell companies, and procured banned items to aid North Korea’s weapons program. The resolution adopted today obligates countries to expel any North Korean who carries out these acts, including DPRK diplomats.
Despite previous financial sanctions that constrained North Korea’s access to the international financial system, North Korean banks were still able to do business on foreign territory, allowing the government to fund its illicit programs. Under the resolution adopted today, states around the world will have to shut down DPRK financial institutions in their territory.
North Korean scientists have used specialized trainings at academic institutions and international research centers to obtain technical expertise that they then put to use to advance the DPRK government’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. The resolution adopted today prohibits specialized training of any DPRK national in fields that could be used to advance these programs, including nuclear and space-related technical exchanges.
Now, as these measures make abundantly clear, the purpose of this resolution is not to inflict greater hardship on the people of North Korea, who endure immeasurable suffering under one of the most repressive governments the modern world has ever seen….
It is deeply important that today’s resolution, and all the tough measures it includes, has been adopted with the support of all 15 members of the Security Council. In particular, the United States would like to recognize the leadership of China, which has worked closely with us in negotiating this extremely rigorous resolution. Beyond the Council, it is worth noting the unanimity among, and leadership by, the countries in the region — China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea — who understand so clearly the threat to our shared security posed by the DPRK’s actions. The fact that this resolution has been co-sponsored by 50 Member States drawn from every region in the world, demonstrates both the recognition of the global threat posed by North Korea, and the international community’s commitment to working together to address that threat.
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