The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control has issued a final rule that, effective Feb. 16, eases economic sanctions against North Korea.

This rule amends the North Korea Sanctions Regulations to modify a general license authorizing certain transactions in support of specified humanitarian activities of non-governmental organizations in North Korea to broaden the activities and transactions authorized, including those with certain North Korean government entities that are necessary for the provision of services authorized by this license.

The rule also adds three new general licenses to authorize the following.

- transactions incident to the exportation and reexportation to North Korea of items (commodities, software, or technology) subject to the Export Administration Regulations that have been licensed or otherwise authorized by the Department of Commerce under the EAR, including on a “no license required” basis due to the availability of an EAR license exception

- the provision of certain agricultural commodities, medicine, and medical devices that are not subject to the EAR to North Korea

- U.S. news reporting organizations and their employees to engage in certain journalistic activities in North Korea

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