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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance


UN Security Council Ratchets Up North Korea Sanctions in Resolution 2397

27 December 2017

On December 22, 2017, the fifteen members of the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2397 to enhance sanctions against North Korea in response to its November 28, 2017 launch of a Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile, bringing international multilateral sanctions closer in line with existing US sanctions against the North Korean regime. Under the new sanctions, UN member states will further restrict sales of oil and refined petroleum products to North Korea, repatriate North Korean workers earning income abroad, and cease trading in several other sectors critical to the North Korean economy. UN member states are also now authorized to seize vessels in their territorial waters engaged in smuggling of oil or other commodities for the benefit of North Korea.

UNSCR 2397 is the third UNSC resolution adopted this year in response to North Korea's nuclear weapons and missile development programs, which include Resolution 2371  of August 5, 2017, and Resolution 2375 of September 11, 2017. Under UNSCR 2379, the UNSC reiterated its demands that North Korea avoid "any further launches that use ballistic missile technology, nuclear tests, or any other provocation" and cease activities related to its ballistic missile and weapons of mass destruction programs "in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner."

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