The United States and Britain held a workshop Friday to discuss ways to stop North Korea’s evasion of sanctions related to its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, the U.S. State Department said.
The meeting in London involved officials from the two governments, maritime insurance companies, commodity traders as well as the United Nations Panel of Experts on North Korea, the department said in a statement.
The U.N. Security Council has adopted wide-ranging sanctions designed to cut off trade with North Korea and stop the regime’s development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.
|North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un (Yonhap)|
But the North has evaded the sanctions by employing “deceptive tactics,” the department said. And Friday’s meeting focused on ways the private sector can prevent illicit shipping, trade and other sanctions evasion activities.
“The United States and the United Kingdom are committed to working with the maritime industry to take proactive measures to fully implement U.N. sanctions and protect against the provision of insurance and other services to vessels engaging in activity prohibited under the U.N. sanctions regime,” the statement said.
In particular, the department noted North Korea’s continued imports of refined petroleum in breach of the U.N.-imposed cap.
“We urge all insurance providers, commodity traders, and other businesses to immediately end any and all relationships that support or facilitate the provision of refined petroleum to North Korea or other illicit North Korean shipping activities,” it said.
“As U.S. officials have noted, the United States will not hesitate to impose sanctions on any individual, entity, or vessel supporting North Korea‘s illicit activities.”
The department reiterated the U.S. commitment to achieving the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea and urged the international community to continue to enforce the sanctions until that goal is reached.
“The full implementation of North Korean-related U.N. Security Council resolutions by all countries is crucial to a successful diplomatic outcome,” it said. (Yonhap)