Trump Enacts DPRK Sanctions Prior to U.S.-China Summit
March 31, 2017
The U.S. Department of Treasury on March 31, 2017 sanctioned 11 individuals and one entity associated with providing funding and support for North Korea's nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles program.
- This could be a signal from the Trump administration that it intends to close down more procurement channels and funding sources for North Korea in third party countries, including China, Russia, Vietnam, and Cuba.
- The sanctioned persons have been facilitating the continued violation of UN Security Council Resolutions, and have provided financial support and procurement services for the North Korean WMD programs in third party countries.
- Treasury’s announcement today appears to explicitly refer to the coal trade between Chinese and North Korean entities with its designation of Paeksol Trading Corporation. Although the U.S. has previously sanctioned DPRK trading companies and entities involved in the North Korean mining industry, this is the first mention of a direct Chinese connection in advance of the U.S.-China summit on April 6-7 at Mar-a-Lago, perhaps intimating the threat of secondary sanctions against China.
- Recent coal import numbers from China Customs showed that Chinese imports of North Korean coal have gone down in the first two months of the year, with total value and quantity to be 2.69 million metric tons and $US 219.5 million respectively, which already represents a dollar value of over 50 percent of the UNSCR 2321-mandated limits for 2017 (400.8 million).