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DPRK Sanctions Resolution Vote*

The Security Council is expected to vote tomorrow afternoon (5 August) on a draft resolution imposing additional sanctions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). The US produced the draft after several weeks of bilateral discussions with China.

Today the US held an expert-level meeting of all members to discuss the proposal and answer questions. At the conclusion of the meeting, it circulated the draft resolution, which was put into blue late this afternoon. Several members have noted the importance of a strong response to recent actions by the DPRK, particularly the ballistic missile tests of 3 and 28 July. However, Russia, supported by some others, expressed concern about not having sufficient time to study the text and consult with capital within such a short time-frame.

The draft resolution condemns the 3 and 28 July ballistic missile launches, noting that the DPRK has stated that these were “intercontinental” ballistic missiles. It reaffirms previous Council decisions that the DPRK not conduct further launches using ballistic missile technology, nuclear tests, or any other provocation.

The draft reaffirms support for the Six Party Talks and calls for their resumption. This reiterates language from several previous resolutions on the DPRK, including most recently resolution 2321 of 30 November 2016.

The draft significantly strengthens the sanctions on the DPRK. It imposes a full ban on the export of coal, iron and iron ore from the DPRK, whereas previously (as per resolution 2321) these items could be exported for livelihood purposes, with a cap on the amount of coal that could be exported. The draft in blue prohibits the export of lead, lead ore and seafood from the DPRK. It freezes the number of work authorisations for DPRK laborers working abroad at current levels, unless the DPRK Sanctions Committee approves on a case-by-case basis additional authorisations to allow for purposes such as the delivery of humanitarian assistance or denuclearisation. It decides that states shall prohibit the formation of joint ventures or cooperative commercial entities on their territory or by their nationals with DPRK individuals or entities.

There are new elements with regard to targeted sanctions. The draft designates several additional individuals for a travel ban and assets freeze, as well as designating entities for an assets freeze. It further requests INTERPOL to issue “special notices” regarding designated individuals and directs the Sanctions Committee to work with INTERPOL toward that end.

Tomorrow’s vote takes place amid heightened concern about the recent tensions on the Korean peninsula. After the 3 July test, the Council broke with its practice of meeting in closed consultations and held a public meeting on 5 July with a briefing by Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Miroslav Jenča. Members were unanimous in their condemnation of the missile launch. Some members stressed the need to combine sanctions with dialogue, while others referred to the DPRK as a global threat and focused on the need for further significant measures.

*Post-script: The resolution (S/RES/2371) was adopted unanimously by the Council.

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