NEW YORK, AUGUST 5 – The United Nations imposed new sanctions on North Korea (DPRK) that could slash by a third the Asian state’s $3 billion annual export revenue over Pyongyang’s two July intercontinental ballistic missile tests. Italy, a non-permanent member of the Security Council, welcomed the unanimous adoption of the resolution. “The Security Council is once again sending an unequivocal message to the DPRK”, said Ambassador Inigo Lambertini, Deputy Permanent Representative and Charge’ d’Affaires a.i. of Italy to the United Nations, giving an explanation of the vote. “The International Community is united in condemning North Korea’s increasing provocations and is determined to confront this new level of threat to international peace and security by taking further action.”
The U.S.-drafted resolution bans North Korean exports of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood. It also prohibits countries from increasing the current numbers of North Korean laborers working abroad, bans new joint ventures with North Korea and any new investment in current joint ventures. As demonstrated by the latest ballistic missile launches, having a potential intercontinental range – which Italy condemns in the strongest terms – North Korea is advancing illegally towards an operational nuclear capability, severely undermining our collective security and the global non-proliferation regime. This is an extraordinary situation that calls for proportional measures.
The resolution adopted on Saturday, according to Lambertini, “provides for the broadest, most comprehensive set of sanctions ever applied by this Council, which will remain in force for as long as the DPRK continues to pursue nuclear weapons and their means of delivery. We therefore urge the North Korean regime to take immediate measures to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner”. In consultation with key partners, Italy also stands ready, at the appropriate time, to support additional autonomous restrictive measures in the EU context.
“We reaffirm that the Security Council’s concern is directed towards the DPRK Government, and not its people”, said Italy’s Deputy Permanent Representative, “who continue to suffer as resources are diverted away from economic development towards military, nuclear and ballistic missile programs. As in the past, we will remain vigilant in order to ensure that these new restrictive measures do not have any adverse consequences from a humanitarian perspective”.
While increasing pressure on the North Korean leadership at this juncture is essential, Italy has called on DPRK to make credible progress on its obligations to denuclearize enabling negotiations leading to a peaceful solution, as stated in the EU Foreign Affairs’ Council Conclusions of 17th July. In this regard, Italy reaffirmed that sanctions are not an end in themselves, but a means to promote the DPRK’s full compliance.
Finally, as Chair of the 1718 Committee, Lambertini restated Italy’s “unwavering commitment” to full and effective implementation of all Security Council resolutions on the DPRK. “We will reach out to the whole UN membership in order to ensure that these latest measures are applied quickly and comprehensively”, concluded the Ambassador.