Besides the alleged violations of the UNSC restrictions on the DPRK’s arms development, Korea has also been accused of violating economic sanctions.
Pyongyang (GPA) – A new UN report has accused multiple countries and the DPRK of sanctions violations.
According to the United States, the Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea (DPRK or North Korea) is violating United Nations Security Council (UNSC) restrictions concerning their nuclear testing and missile development programs. These accusations come from a six-month report released last week by the UN which claims Pyongyang is violating restrictions on both of these programs according to new intelligence gathered.
Besides the alleged violations of the UNSC restrictions on the DPRK’s arms development, Korea has also been accused of violating economic sanctions “through a massive increase in illicit ship-to-ship transfers of petroleum products, as well as through transfers of coal at sea during 2018.” The UNSC also claimed that the DPRK was assisting the governments of Syria with weapons as well as attempting to sell arms to the Ansarullah movement (Houthis) in Yemen.
On top of all this, there was also an estimated $100 billion worth of textile goods smuggled out of the DPRK in the six month period starting in October of last year. According to the report, the DPRK managed to slip goods past the “international community’s” prying eyes, sending them to countries including China, India, Mexico, and Turkey. Moscow was also singled out by US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley for allegedly issuing visas to Korean laborers.
While these accusations are likely true, it must be remembered that the Trump administration, as well as their UN delegation led by Nikki Haley, have been opposing any easing of sanctions on the DPRK despite promises by Pyongyang to begin the process of waging peace on the Korean Peninsula. Even after the destruction of several weapons facilities and the repatriation of the remains of US soldiers from the Korean War, Washington has refused to ease up on the previous sanctions.
This is a pattern nearly every administration in Washington has followed after making any kind of deal with the DPRK. It consists of only three steps:
- Get concessions from Pyongyang
- Refuse to give concessions to Pyongyang
- Restart hostilities
Much like the Trump Administration’s dealings with Iran, it has become clear that Washington is, as always, acting in bad faith and seeking to sabotage the peace process. No doubt, if this happens, Washington will blame Pyongyang and use it as an excuse to act on the third step listed above.
The US has seemingly gotten back to re-igniting the hostilities with the DPRK and is dragging China and Russia into the mix again, accusing them of being the primary actors helping Pyongyang bring in revenue. Both countries were recently chastised by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who doubled down on Washington’s hostile policy of ‘no sanctions relief until all conditions are met,’ speaking at the ASEAN Regional Forum in Singapore this Friday.
According to Pompeo, Pyongyang owes it to Washington to take steps in “building confidence” between the two countries. North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho responded by pointing out that the DPRK had already given some concessions to the US and argued that the in order to “build full confidence between the DPRK and the US it is essential for both sides to take simultaneous actions and phased steps to do what is possible one after another,” which the US has always refused to do.
Ri also signaled that it is possible some of the establishment (read: hostile) actors in the Trump Administration may be stepping on their boss’s toes, saying it is alarming that there are “insistent moves manifested within the US to go back to the old” DPRK policy, “far from [Trump’s] intention.”
Pompeo later went on to tell reporters on the sidelines of the ASEAN forum that the US would continue to withhold sanctions relief for the DPRK and put the country and “every nation that has supported these resolutions” on notice, “that this is a serious issue,” in reference to Russia’s support of some UNSC resolutions against Pyongyang.
Pompeo assured reporters that the US “would be talking to Moscow” about these alleged violations and others which the Secretary says “detract from the world’s goal of finally, fully denuclearizing North Korea.” Nikki Haley echoed Pompeo late Friday, but once again, was focused more on Moscow more than Pyongyang. Seemingly jumping at a chance to impose more sanctions on Russia, Haley attacked, saying “talk is cheap” and that her arch-enemies in the Kremlin “cannot support sanctions with their words in the Security Council only to violate them with their actions.”
As the talks between the US and the DPRK go on it has become clear that some elements within the US government wish to see conflict continue and use it as an excuse to demonize other adversaries like Russia along the way. These deep state forces clearly look to demonize Pyongyang and Moscow and throw any obstacle they can in the way of Trump accidentally stumbling into some sort of peace.
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