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Sanctions against North Korea biting but country remains defiant

Sanctions imposed by the Security Council on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to persuade it to abandon its nuclear weapons programme are having a substantial impact, although there is no indication that the country is ready to move forward on denuclearization, experts say in a new United Nations report.

“These measures have significantly constrained the ability of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to market and export arms and other proscribed nuclear and ballistic missile items that had previously provided a significant source of the country’s foreign earnings,” writes the Panel of Experts mandated to examine DPRK’s compliance with Security Council resolutions.

The Panel also notes that international condemnation of DPRK’s disregard for its nuclear and ballistic missile non-proliferation-related obligations, and its involvement in illicit trade activities, has caused several countries to supplement the Council’s measures with their own national sanctions.

Many private sector businesses and financial entities have also deferred or halted their own dealings with the DPRK, according to the Panel’s report, which was make public yesterday.

The experts attributed the effectiveness of the Council’s measures to steps taken by many UN Member States to implement and enforce the sanctions regime and to exercise vigilance to prevent, inhibit and deter the activities proscribed by the Security Council resolutions.

“The adoption and enforcement of these measures, in turn, reflects a broad international commitment to maintaining the integrity and credibility of the international non-proliferation regime,” the Panel writes.

The Panel, however, notes that there are no indications that DPRK intends to abandon its nuclear programme or step back from developing weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles.

“The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has continued to engage in activities proscribed by the relevant Security Council resolutions and has continued to boycott the Six-Party Talks,” the group said, referring to the talks involving China, DPRK, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Russia and the United States aimed at resolving the crisis over the country’s nuclear programme.

“It continues to market and export its nuclear and ballistic technology to certain other States,” the Panel added.

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