Susan Rice

Remarks on United Nations Sanctions Against North Korea

delivered 7 March 2013, New York, NY

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Today the Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2094, strongly condemning North Korea's highly provocative February 12th nuclear test and imposing significant new sanctions under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. The strength, breadth, and severity of these sanctions will raise the cost to North Korea of its illicit nuclear program and further constrain its ability to finance and source materials and technology for its ballistic missile, conventional, and nuclear weapons program.

First, Resolution 2094 imposes tough, new financial sanctions. When North Korea tries to move money to pay for its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, countries must now block those transfers, even if the money is being carried in suitcases full of bulk cash. Likewise North Korean banks will find it much harder to launder money for the DPRK nuclear program.

Today’s resolution also imposes new travel restrictions. If, for example, a North Korean agent is caught making arms deals or selling nuclear technology, countries will be required to expel that agent. Countries must also now prevent the travel of people working for designated companies involved in the nuclear and missile programs.

States will now have new authorities to inspect cargo and stop North Korean arms smuggling and proliferation. If a country has cargo on its territory that might be carrying prohibitive items, like conventional arms or nuclear or ballistic materials, this resolution requires that the cargo be inspected. It will also make it harder for North Korean vessels to offload such prohibited cargo if a ship refuses inspection on the high seas, thus forcing it to return to its port of origin. And airplanes carrying smuggled items can find themselves grounded.

This resolution will also counter North Korean efforts to abuse diplomatic privileges to advance its nuclear and ballistic missile activities. It will now be much harder for such diplomats to procure technology or divert funds to the nuclear program without being detected and expelled.

Resolution 2094 further bans the transfer to and from North Korea of specific ballistic missile, nuclear, and chemical weapons-related technologies. It lists new prohibitive -- prohibited items and calls on states to block any item at all that could contribute to these activities. It names additional North Koreans and North Korean companies whose assets will be frozen, and those individuals will also be subject to a travel ban.

This resolution lists a number of luxury goods that cannot be sold to North Korea. As a result, North Korea's ruling elite, who have been living large while impoverishing their people, will pay a direct price for this nuclear test. A detailed fact sheet outlawing all key measures in UN resolution 2094 can be found on the U.S. Mission website: www.usun.state.gov.

Taken together, these sanctions will bite and bite hard. They increase North Korea's isolation and raise the cost to North Korea's leaders of defying the international community. The entire world stands united in our commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and in our demand that North Korea comply with its international obligations. If it does not, then the Security Council committed today, in this resolution, to take further, significant measures if there is another nuclear test or missile launch.

We regret that North Korea has again chosen the path of provocation instead of the path of peace. Far from achieving its stated goal of becoming a strong and prosperous nation, North Korea has instead again opted to further impoverish its people and increase its isolation.

We hope instead that North Korea will heed President Obama’s call to choose the path of peace and come into compliance with its international obligations.


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