US to further tighten DPRK sanctions

US to further tighten DPRK sanctions

The United States intends to impose further sanctions on North Korea (‘DPRK’) in the wake of the escalation of tensions between the DPRK and the US and allies; it is also calling for stronger action from the UN Security Council.

On 26 April, President Trump summoned senators to the White House for a briefing, given by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis, on the situation. While the briefing was classified, the State Department released a joint statement from Tillerson and Mattis:

Today, along with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joe Dunford, we briefed Members of Congress on the review. The President’s approach aims to pressure North Korea into dismantling its nuclear, ballistic missile, and proliferation programs by tightening economic sanctions and pursuing diplomatic measures with our Allies and regional partners.

‘We are engaging responsible members of the international community to increase pressure on the D.P.R.K. in order to convince the regime to de-escalate and return to the path of dialogue. We will maintain our close coordination and cooperation with our Allies, especially the Republic of Korea and Japan, as we work together to preserve stability and prosperity in the region.’

Reporting by news agencies indicates that the new sanctions could include an oil embargo, secondary sanctions against non-US banks continuing to trade with North Korea, and restrictions on the national airline, Koryo Air.

On 20 April, the US ambassador to the United Nations (currently UN Security Council President) issued a statement in which the Security Council expressed its concern for the ‘Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s highly destabilising behaviour and flagrant and provocative defiance of the Security Council by conducting this ballistic-missile launch in violation of its international obligations under United Nations Security Council resolutions 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013), 2094 (2013), 2270 (2016) and 2321 (2016).’

A copy of the UN Security Council’s statement can be found here:


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