Moving North Korea along the path of complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization and the dismantling of its intercontinental ballistic missile program

Secretary of State Pompeo Delivers Strong Message on North Korean Sanctions at the UN

By —— Bio and Archives--July 22, 2018

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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in New York City on Friday to deliver a firm message of resolve regarding North Korea to the members of the United Nations Security Council, as well as representatives from South Korea and Japan, at a closed-door meeting held at South Korea’s UN mission. North Korea, he said, must demonstrate with concrete actions that it is moving in the direction of complete denuclearization before any sanctions relief can be considered. Secretary Pompeo told reporters at UN headquarters following this meeting, and another meeting with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, that the members of the Security Council “are united on the need for final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea as agreed to by Chairman Kim. Strict enforcement of sanctions is critical to achieving this goal.”


Secretary of State Pompeo claimed that North Korea understands the scope and scale of the denuclearization that is required, a dubious proposition considering statements made by North Korean officials since the Singapore summit meeting between Chairman Kim Jong-un and President Trump. This included an accusation following Secretary Pompeo’s recent visit earlier this month to Pyongyang that the U.S. was engaging in “gangster-like tactics” and increasing the “risk of war.” There is obviously no meeting of the minds at the present time between the two sides as to what denuclearization precisely means, let alone its timing and appropriate verification mechanisms. A vaguely worded joint declaration is no substitute for detailed and unambiguous terms of reference hammered out in negotiations, without the loss by the U.S. of any leverage in the meantime.

Strict enforcement of the sanctions currently in place is also easier said than done. Secretary Pompeo pointed out that North Korea is illegally engaging in ship-to-ship transfers of oil with the help of those willing to end run the sanctions – at least 89 times since the beginning of this year. North Korean is also raising significant revenue by illegal means.

UN Ambassador Nikki Haley said that Russia and China blocked a U.S. proposal to put a halt to all additional refined petroleum shipments to North Korea. Secretary Pompeo skirted a question as to whether Russia was reneging on North Korean-related commitments that President Putin purportedly made to President Trump during their summit meeting in Helsinki. He indicated that Russia has been helpful in the past regarding sanctions enforcement. He added, however, that sanctions enforcement is a “continuing process” and that the U.S. would demand that all countries remain committed to do their part in enforcing the sanctions.

The Trump administration must continue to hold the line on keeping the full set of sanctions against North Korea in place and find effective ways (including the use of secondary sanctions if necessary) to hold all countries to account if they fail to strictly enforce the sanctions. Only then can the United States and its allies maintain the key leverage they need to have any hope of moving North Korea along the path of complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization and the dismantling of its intercontinental ballistic missile program. Too many times in the past North Korea has managed to game negotiations to its advantage.


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Joseph A. Klein, CFP United Nations Columnist -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Joseph A. Klein is the author of Global Deception: The UN’s Stealth Assault on America’s Freedom.

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