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Ministry plans to strengthen implementation of UN sanctions resolutions

By Park Han-na

Published : April 9, 2019 - 17:43

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The Foreign Ministry is looking to increase its workforce dealing with the implementation of UN Security Council sanctions resolutions as part of its revamp plan, ministry officials said Tuesday.

The Sanctions and Export Control Team of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is expected to be raised to the status of division by the end of May. 


(Yonhap) (Yonhap)


With the boost, an undisclosed number of staff will join the group that currently has three regular officers and two members on temporary loan from another division.

The team is responsible for disseminating information regarding UN sanctions to other ministries. It is also in charge of reporting to the UN sanctions committee on North Korea when matters related to sanctions violations are detected.

“We also review whether inter-Korean projects are in compliance with the framework of sanctions on North Korea as well as the appropriateness of Korean exports, such as conventional weapons, to other countries that are under international restrictions,” an official at the team said.

The new division will join two other existing divisions-- the Nuclear Affairs Division and Disarmament & Nonproliferation Division -- in the ministry’s Nonproliferation & Nuclear Affairs Bureau.

To confirm the reshuffle plan, a consultation process with the Ministry of the Interior and Safety and Ministry of Government Legislation is underway, a ministry official said.

The move came as the team is struggling to keep up with a growing workload after a series of potential UN sanctions breaches involving ship-to-ship transfers of coal or petroleum products to North Korea have come to light.

The Foreign Ministry is reportedly in talks with the US on measures to take on a South Korean ship detained at the port of Busan on charges of transferring oil products to a North Korean vessel.

Three foreign vessels, which covertly delivered North Korean coal at Incheon and Pohang in 2017, are also under review for possible punitive measures.

In a report published in March, the UN said North Korea has been evading sanctions with increasingly sophisticated methods, enabling the regime to import more oil, expand coal exports, sell arms and hack into foreign banks.

By Park Han-na (hnpark@heraldcorp.com)