Background

The United Nations Security Council recently adopted tougher economic sanctions against North Korea in response to its launches of ballistic missiles of possible intercontinental range. According to press sources, the 15 UNSC members voted unanimously to impose a full ban on exports of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore, and seafood from North Korea, which previously could be exported in limited amounts for livelihood purposes.

The UNSC also prohibited UN members from increasing the total number of work authorizations for North Korean nationals, establishing new joint ventures or cooperative entities with North Korean entities or individuals, and making additional investments in existing joint ventures. Last year the UN restricted North Korea’s exports of coal and banned its exports of copper, nickel, silver, and zinc.

The UN estimates that the latest sanctions could cost North Korea as much as $1 billion a year, but press sources note that this will largely depend on whether they are enforced. UN member states are being asked to report within 90 days on the measures they have taken to effectively implement these restrictions.

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