October 15th, 2019 | In the Plenary committee, North Korea has suggested the elimination of all trade sanctions on their country. This committee is currently discussing water security; trade interdiction sanctions are a vital part of these issues. These sanctions disallow countries across the globe from importing certain goods, in this case, water. North Korea states, “you are hurting the citizens of the countries by not giving them water.” North Korea’s proposed plan is to remove the sanctions on these countries. When asked about the sanctions specific to their country north Korea said, “All trade sanctions should be removed, these are hustling the people, not the government.” North Korea also made a statement specific to the nuclear sanctions but asked for it not to be printed.
This is, blatantly put, a ploy to get out of the sanctions unanimously voted on by the Security Council which face the country. The current sanctions include: bans on the trade of arms and military equipment, dual-use technologies, vehicles, industrial machinery, and metals; freezes on the assets of individuals involved in the country’s nuclear program; bans on the import of certain luxury goods; bans on the export of electrical equipment, coal, minerals, seafood and other food and agricultural products, wood, textiles, and stones; caps on North Korean labor exports; caps on imports of oil and refined petroleum products; bans on natural gas imports; restrictions on fishing rights; restrictions on scientific and technical cooperation with North Korea; and restrictions on UN members prohibiting the opening of North Korean bank accounts and banking offices.
And these are only the sanctions created by the UN, China, the EU, Japan, and many other countries that have also placed sanctions on North Korea. There is also a point to be made that most of these countries have been known to also violate the aforementioned sanctions. However, what North Korea is currently trying to impose increases the already feared threat of nuclear war. These sanctions were put on North Korea to prevent nuclear war from happening in the first place. To use the current debate on solutions for water insecurity to relieve themselves of sanctions is lamentable, and the idea is, thankfully, not being entertained by the committee. However, this calls into question what extents North Korea will go through to get rid of the sanctions that keep nuclear war at bay.
“What to Know About Sanctions on North Korea.” Council on Foreign Relations. Council on Foreign Relations. Accessed October 15, 2019. https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/what-know-about-sanctions-north-korea.