On Monday, the UN Security Council debated action on North Korea over its decision to conduct a large nuclear test over the weekend. Right now the US UN delegation is circulating a draft sanctions resolution which is pretty severe. In addition to tightening existing sanctions, and, in some cases expanding classes of already sanctioned material the new resolution calls for:
Ban exports of crude oil, condensate, refined petroleum products, and natural gas liquids to the DPRK.
There are people who claim that North Korea can produce enough synthetic oil from coal to not be affected, like here. I find this to be lame and unconvincing because the infrastructure to do that does not exist and, if sanctions are enforced, it will be difficult for them to build the infrastructure.
Prohibit textile exports from the DPRK.
Major financial hit because a lot of the “Made in China” clothes we wear are actually made in North Korea:
The garment industry of North Korea is among the most successful export industries. Apparel companies belonging to Holland, China, Germany, France, and South Korea outsource their garment production to factories in North Korea. The medium and large scale garment manufacturing units today employ more than thousands of workers. The wages are lower than most Asian countries and there by attracting many international companies to operate production in North Korea.
…The increasing labor cost in the Chinese markets have led many importers to adopt the “China plus one” strategy to balance the rising costs, wherein besides China another country supports the act of production.
Such arrangements enable companies to manufacture certain parts of a garment in North Korea and the remaining parts to be made and assembled in China. This has opened up immense possibilities for the country and helps achieve a competitive edge over other countries in Asia. There are other ways in which North Korea is expanding their garment manufacturing set up which is by employing the citizens directly for the purpose of production.
Prevent Illicit DPRK Export of Coal through Rajin.
This is an area of North Korea that borders on Russia and is a transit point for North Korean coal headed to Russia.
Ban the hiring and paying of DPRK laborers used to generate foreign export earnings.
Another big financial loophole closed.
As pressure on North Korea grows over its nuclear weapons program, America’s most valued Arab allies host thousands of its laborers whose wages help Pyongyang evade sanctions and build the missiles now threatening the U.S. and its Asian partners, officials and analysts say.
From state-run restaurants to construction sites, North Korean workers in Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates face conditions akin to forced labor while being spied on by planted intelligence officers, eating little food and suffering physical abuse, authorities say. Hundreds more North Korean workers may be coming to the UAE, home to a crucial military base, while laborers remain in the other countries.
North Korea has sent hundreds of workers to labor as “state-sponsored slaves” in EU nations as Pyongyang seeks to circumvent international sanctions aimed at starving it of money over its nuclear weapons program, rights campaigners said on Wednesday.
North Korean laborers commonly work 10-12 hour shifts, six days a week, but up to 90 percent of their pay is sent back to the hermit state, according to the European Alliance for Human Rights in North Korea (EAHRNK).
Most are working in Polish shipyards, construction sites and farms. North Koreans are also employed in leisure and clothing firms in Malta, and have worked in other EU countries including Germany, Italy, Austria and the Netherlands, it said.
Squeezed by international sanctions and unable to produce many goods that anyone outside North Korea wants to buy — other than missile parts, textiles, coal and mushrooms — the government has sent tens of thousands of its impoverished citizens to cities and towns across the former Soviet Union to earn money for the state.
Human rights groups say this state-controlled traffic amounts to a slave trade, but so desperate are conditions in North Korea that laborers often pay bribes to get sent to Russia.
Asset freeze on Kim Jong Un, the Worker’s Party of Korea, and the Government of the DPRK.
This puts the spotlight on Chinese banks.
Prohibiting Joint Ventures and Cooperative Commercial Entities with the DPRK.
All of these are good and over due. The one that I found the most interesting and the one that shows the vote on sanctions is more of a public relations effort designed to force Russia and China to veto a sanctions resolution thereby making them side with North Korea is this:
Authorize all Member States to interdict and inspect Committee-designated cargo vessels on the high seas: Decides that the Committee may designate vessels for non-consensual inspections and further decides that all Member States are authorized to inspect on the high seas any vessel designated by the Committee pursuant to this paragraph or identified by the Security Council or by the Committee as subject to the asset freeze imposed by paragraph 8(d) of resolution 1718 (2006) and to use all necessary measures, in full compliance with international humanitarian law and international human rights law, as may be applicable, to carry out such an inspection and to direct the vessel to take appropriate actions, including to call at an appropriate port;
North Korea runs a fleet of merchant ships flagged in a variety of other nations and shuffles names and ownership records frequently to make tracking them difficult. This allows members of the UN to use military force to stop these merchant ships and it allows the ships to be boarded for inspection.
On North Korea, Mnuchin said if UN doesn't pass new stringent sanctions, Pres can authorize new US sanctions on "anybody" trading with NK.
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) September 7, 2017
Contrary to how this is being portrayed, it is not a threat to cut off trade with entire nations. It is, however, a threat to begin imposing US sanctions on many third party entities, such as Chinese banks and Panamanian maritime insurance companies, who are dealing with North Korea.
Kim Jong Un is not amused and is threatening “powerful countermeasures” if additional sanctions are imposed.