The EU has recently adopted autonomous measures against North Korea going beyond those required by the UN Security Council.

On 29 March 2013, the Council Regulation (EU) No 296/2013 (2013 Regulation) in respect of the restrictive measures directed against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) took effect. It amends Council Regulation (EC) 329/2007 and implements remaining measures in Council Decision 2013/88/CFSP. The 2013 Regulation adopts EU autonomous measures which go beyond those required by UN Security Council Resolution 2087 (2013). The UN Security Council regime comprises of resolutions 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013) and 2094 (2013).

The 2013 Regulation prohibits the sale, supply, transfer or export to the DPRK, whether directly or indirectly (through an agent or other means), of goods, especially steel alloys, carbon-composite material and aluminium and technology, including software. This includes technology and software which are dual-use items and prohibits their brokering and transit through the EU. The measures also proscribe the sale, supply, transportation or brokering of gold, precious metals and diamonds to, from or for the Government of North Korea, as well as the sale or purchase of North Korean public or public-guaranteed bonds.

The 2013 Regulation bars EU credit and financial institutions from opening a new representative office or establishing a joint venture with a credit or financial institution in North Korea. It also clarifies that where the European Council has provided for a prohibition on financial services, the provision of insurance and reinsurance services is prohibited as well. The 2013 Regulation also establishes that no claims in connection with any contract affected by the measures imposed shall be satisfied if they are made by designed persons, entities or bodies listed in the relevant annexes to the 2013 Regulation.

The EU has postponed its formal political dialogue with the DPRK in November 2012 as tension mounted around North Korea’s weapon programme. We understand that the EU would consider tightening sanctions on North Korea if it carried out more missile or nuclear weapons tests.

The US has also imposed sanctions on North Korea by designating its Foreign Trade Bank (FTB) on 3 March 2013. FTB is a state-owned bank, which has been reported to have facilitated millions of dollars in transactions for the benefit of Korea Mining Development Corporation (KOMID).