After the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (“DPRK“) carried out its fifth nuclear test last Friday 12th September, some press reports indicated that the United Nations Security Council (“UNSC“) had agreed to impose new sanctions on the nation. The DPRK has been hit by five sets of UNSC sanctions since it first tested a nuclear device in 2006, most recently on 2nd March 2016 (see our related blog post here).

US President Obama reacted to Friday’s test by indicating he would work “to take additional significant steps, including new sanctions“. Special Representative for North Korea Policy Sung Kim stated that the US is seeking “the strongest possible” measures against the DPRK, potentially involving unilateral sanctions, adding that the US, South Korea and Japan would be coordinating their responses.  Meanwhile, the EU issued a statement condemning the “direct violation” of the DPRK’s international obligations, calling on the DPRK to abandon all of its nuclear weapons and programmes and “re-engage” with the international community, and adding that the EU would “closely coordinate” its action with the UNSC.