Connect with us

Analysis

News

What really happened in Security Council: China REJECTED oil embargo on North Korea

China to continue supplying North Korea with crude oil at previous levels; will continue cross border trade

Alexander Mercouris

Published

on

13,614 Views

It is now clear that ever since North Korea carried out its Hwasong 15 ICBM launch complex three party negotiations between the US, China and Russia have been underway in great secrecy in order to agree a further sanctions resolution in the UN Security Council against North Korea.

Almost certainly the two recent telephone conversations between US President Trump and Russian President Putin have touched on this.

The unusual secrecy in which the negotiations were conducted meant that when the sanctions resolution was finally agreed and was voted for unanimously by the UN Security Council it came as something of a surprise.

In the run up to the vote the US had however been making fully clear what sort of pressure it wanted the UN Security Council and China specifically to impose on North Korea: a total embargo on all supplies of oil to North Korea along with a naval blockade and an effective cessation of all trade between North Korea and the outside world.

The important point to take away from the UN Security Council meeting is that China again rejected these demands.

Here it is important to make a number of points about China’s deliveries of crude oil to North Korea.

Firstly, crude oil is about the only product North Korea needs to import in order to keep its economy going which it cannot produce itself.  I say this though it is known that North Korea has been stockpiling crude oil in anticipation of a possible future embargo of crude oil deliveries to itself and would probably be able to keep its economy going for some time albeit at a reduced rate if crude oil were indeed cut off.

By contrast North Korea is able to refine crude oil and can sustain its economy if refined oil products such as petroleum are cut off, provided it continues to be supplied with crude oil in sufficient quantity.

I would add briefly and in parenthesis that the Germans in the 1930s perfected a technology for making synthetic oil from coal, which North Korea produces itself and of which it has no shortage.  The procedure is however complicated and expensive and comes with environmental cost.  There is no information that North Korea has copied it, though presumably over time it could do so.

Secondly, all crude oil which North Korea imports comes from China.

Thirdly, it appears that China does not actually require payment from North Korea for this crude oil, which is provided essentially as a gift.

The text of the latest sanctions resolution voted for unanimously by the UN Security Council is provided at the end of this article.

Its key provision is paragraph 4 which caps crude oil deliveries to North Korea at four million barrels for any twelve month period.  Not only does this however fall well short of a total oil embargo.  It is the same amount that China supplied to North Korea last year.

In other words China has again rejected the US demand for a total oil embargo, and specifically for a total embargo on all crude oil supplies.

Moreover the text of the resolution shows that China has also rejected the US demand for a naval blockade of North Korea.  Instead a complex system of inspections of North Korean ships  suspected of trading in prohibited products has been introduced, which however will be subject to ultimate supervision by the UN Security Council itself.

In addition it is clear that cross border trader between China and North Korean private traders, which has become increasingly important for the North Korean economy, will continue as before.

The resolution will however significantly toughen economic conditions in North Korea.  The key point is that though North Korea is able to refine its own petroleum, it must now do so from the crude oil it imports, which is now capped at last year’s levels.

The point is explained clearly in a commentary by China’s official Xinhua news agency

The resolution sets a ceiling of 500,000 barrels for the import of refined petroleum to the DPRK during a 12-month period beginning from Jan. 1, 2018.

That reduces the country’s import of refined oil by almost 90 percent, and is a reduction from the 4.5 million barrels it imported in 2016, as well as a 2 million-barrel limit stipulated in a September resolution.

The resolution also restricts the DPRK’s crude oil imports to no more than 4 million barrels a year and requests that countries supplying oil to Pyongyang provide a quarterly report to the Security Council committee monitoring the sanctions.

The U.S.-drafted resolution refrains from banning all oil imports for the Northeastern Asian nation, something the administration of President Donald Trump has threatened many times amid Pyongyang’s non-stop provocative actions.

In summary, China will supply to North Korea sufficient crude oil to enable North Korea to sustain its civilian economy.  However by ending all but a small quantity of North Korea’s imports of petroleum and refined oil products China is trying to force North Korea to choose between sustaining its civilian economy or its military, which like all militaries everywhere is a major user of petroleum products.

The calculation appears to be that North Korea will soon run out of sufficient refined oil products such as petroleum to do both, and that rather than risk its civilian economy it will cut back on its military and its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programme, which is itself a heavy user of refined oil products.

That this is indeed China’s calculation is explained in detail by an editorial in the semi official Chinese English language newspaper Global Times.

Chinese society says no to North Korea’s development of nuclear technologies but also feels sympathetic toward North Korean people that suffer the hardships. We hope the sanctions only target its nuclear development and missile activities. We do not want to hurt people’s livelihoods or impair the stability of the regime.

The problem is that this calculation may prove wrong.  On this issue there now appears to be a difference between China and Russia, with the Russians warning that no amount of sanctions will ever persuade the North Koreans to give up on their ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programme.

The Russians are almost certainly right.  Not only have the North Koreans shown a complete unwillingness to compromise on their ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programme up to now, but with that programme now very close to success, with the Hwasong-15 apparently capable of reaching any part of the continental US, and with North Korea apparently very close to miniaturising a thermonuclear warhead for it, North Korea has no real incentive to draw back now.

Perhaps in a year’s time, when the key elements of the programme are completed, it may do so, but having got so far there seems little point in doing so now.

The question is what happens if North Korea presses ahead?  Global Times makes China’s concerns clear

Chinese society says no to North Korea’s development of nuclear technologies but also feels sympathetic toward North Korean people that suffer the hardships. We hope the sanctions only target its nuclear development and missile activities. We do not want to hurt people’s livelihoods or impair the stability of the regime. Beijing has endured mounting pressure from Washington.

Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile development is unacceptable. It is also unacceptable to use force against it and change the political situation in North Korea and the Korean Peninsula. It is hoped that Washington and Pyongyang can discover their common interests.

The new resolution is extremely harsh. It may be the last hope for a desperate situation on the peninsula. South Korea recently said it could suspend joint military drills with the US until after the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in February 2018. It is hoped Pyongyang gets the message and responds positively.

A peaceful solution to the nuclear crisis is becoming more costly for both North Korea and the US.

This suggests that the Chinese see the resolution as the last chance to avoid war.  If so, and if that is right, then since there is practically no chance of North Korea drawing back war is indeed coming.

The full text of Security Council resolution 2397 (2017) reads as follows:

The Security Council,

Recalling its previous relevant resolutions, including resolution 825 (1993), resolution 1695 (2006), resolution 1718 (2006), resolution 1874 (2009), resolution 1887 (2009), resolution 2087 (2013), resolution 2094 (2013), resolution 2270 (2016), resolution 2321 (2016), resolution 2356 (2017), resolution 2371 (2017), resolution 2375 (2017), as well as the statements of its President of 6 October 2006 (document S/PRST/2006/41), 13 April 2009 (document S/PRST/2009/7), 16 April 2012 (document S/PRST/2012/13), and 29 August 2017 (document  S/PRST/2017/16),

Reaffirming that proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, as well as their means of delivery, constitutes a threat to international peace and security,

Expressing its gravest concern at the ballistic missile launch by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on 28 November 2017 in violation of resolutions 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013), 2094 (2013), 2270 (2016) 2321 (2016), 2356 (2017), 2371 (2017), and 2375 (2017) and at the challenge such a test constitutes to the Treaty on Non‑Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and to international efforts aimed at strengthening the global regime of non‑proliferation of nuclear weapons, and the danger it poses to peace and stability in the region and beyond,

Underlining once again the importance that the DPRK respond to other security and humanitarian concerns of the international community, including the necessity of the DPRK respecting and ensuring the welfare, inherent dignity, and rights of people in the DPRK, and expressing great concern that the DPRK continues to develop nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles by diverting critically needed resources away from the people in the DPRK at tremendous cost when they have great unmet needs,

Acknowledging that the proceeds of the DPRK’s trade in sectoral goods, including but not limited to coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore, textiles, seafood, gold, silver, rare earth minerals and other prohibited metals, as well as the revenue generated from DPRK workers overseas, among others, contribute to the DPRK’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs,

Expressing its gravest concern that the DPRK’s ongoing nuclear- and ballistic missile‑related activities have destabilized the region and beyond, and determining that there continues to exist a clear threat to international peace and security,

Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, and taking measures under Article 41,

“1.   Condemns in the strongest terms the ballistic missile launch conducted by the DPRK on 28 November 2017 in violation and flagrant disregard of the Security Council’s resolutions;

“2.   Reaffirms its decisions that the DPRK shall not conduct any further launches that use ballistic missile technology, nuclear tests, or any other provocation; shall immediately suspend all activities related to its ballistic missile program and in this context re‑establish its pre‑existing commitments to a moratorium on all missile launches; shall immediately abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner, and immediately cease all related activities; and shall abandon any other existing weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner;

Designations

“3.   Decides that the measures specified in paragraph 8(d) of resolution 1718 (2006) shall apply also to the individuals and entities listed in annex I and II of this resolution and to any individuals or entities acting on their behalf or at their direction, and to entities owned or controlled by them, including through illicit means, and decides further that the measures specified in paragraph 8(e) of resolution 1718 (2006) shall also apply to the individuals listed in annex I of this resolution and to individuals acting on their behalf or at their direction;

Sectoral

“4.   Decides that all Member States shall prohibit the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer to the DPRK, through their territories or by their nationals, or using their flag vessels, aircraft, pipelines, rail lines, or vehicles and whether or not originating in their territories, of all crude oil, unless the Committee approves in advance on a case‑by‑case basis a shipment of crude oil which is exclusively for livelihood purposes of DPRK nationals and unrelated to the DPRK’s nuclear or ballistic missile programmes or other activities prohibited by resolutions 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013), 2094 (2013), 2270 (2016), 2321 (2016), 2356 (2017), 2371 (2017), 2375 (2017) or this resolution, further decides that this prohibition shall not apply with respect to crude oil that, for a period of twelve months after the date of adoption of this resolution, and for 12-month periods thereafter, does not exceed 4 million barrels or 525,000 tons in the aggregate per twelve month period, and decides that all Member States providing crude oil shall provide a report to the Committee every 90 days from the date of adoption of this resolution of the amount of crude oil provided to the DPRK;

“5.   Decides that all Member States shall prohibit the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer to the DPRK, through their territories or by their nationals, or using their flag vessels, aircraft, pipelines, rail lines, or vehicles, and whether or not originating in their territories, of all refined petroleum products, decides that the DPRK shall not procure such products, further decides that this provision shall not apply with respect to procurement by the DPRK or the direct or indirect supply, sale, or transfer to the DPRK, through their territories or by their nationals, or using their flag vessels, aircraft, pipelines, rail lines, or vehicles, and whether or not originating in their territories, of refined petroleum products, including diesel and kerosene, in the aggregate amount of up to 500,000 barrels during a period of twelve months beginning on January 1, 2018, and for twelve month periods thereafter, provided that (a) the Member State notifies the Committee every thirty days of the amount of such supply, sale, or transfer to the DPRK of refined petroleum products along with information about all the parties to the transaction, (b) the supply, sale, or transfer of refined petroleum products involve no individuals or entities that are associated with the DPRK’s nuclear or ballistic missile programmes or other activities prohibited by resolutions 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013), 2094 (2013), 2270 (2016), 2321 (2016), 2356 (2017), 2371 (2017), 2375 (2017), or this resolution, including designated individuals or entities, or individuals or entities acting on their behalf or at their direction, or entities owned or controlled by them, directly or indirectly, or individuals or entities assisting in the evasion of sanctions, and (c) the supply, sale, or transfer of refined petroleum products are exclusively for livelihood purposes of DPRK nationals and unrelated to generating revenue for the DPRK’s nuclear or ballistic missile programmes or other activities prohibited by resolutions 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013), 2094 (2013), 2270 (2016), 2321 (2016), 2356 (2017), 2371 (2017), 2375 (2017) or this resolution, directs the Committee Secretary beginning on 1 January 2018 to notify all Member States when an aggregate amount of refined petroleum products sold, supplied, or transferred to the DPRK of 75 per cent of the aggregate yearly amounts have been reached, also directs the Committee Secretary beginning on 1 January 2018 to notify all Member States when an aggregate amount of refined petroleum products sold, supplied, or transferred to the DPRK of 90 per cent of the aggregate yearly amounts have been reached, and further directs the Committee Secretary beginning on 1 January 2018 to notify all Member States when an aggregate amount of refined petroleum products sold, supplied, or transferred to the DPRK of 95 per cent of the aggregate yearly amounts have been reached and to inform them that they must immediately cease selling, supplying, or transferring refined petroleum products to the DPRK for the remainder of the year, directs the Committee to make publicly available on its website the total amount of refined petroleum products sold, supplied, or transferred to the DPRK by month and by source country, directs the Committee to update this information on a real-time basis as it receives notifications from Member States, calls upon all Member States to regularly review this website to comply with the annual limits for refined petroleum products established by this provision beginning on 1 January 2018, directs the Panel of Experts to closely monitor the implementation efforts of all Member States to provide assistance and ensure full and global compliance, and requests the Secretary-General to make the necessary arrangements to this effect and provide additional resources in this regard;

“6.   Decides that the DPRK shall not supply, sell or transfer, directly or indirectly, from its territory or by its nationals or using its flag vessels or aircraft, food and agricultural products (HS codes 12, 08, 07), machinery (HS code 84), electrical equipment (HS code 85), earth and stone including magnesite and magnesia (HS code 25), wood (HS code 44), and vessels (HS code 89), and that all States shall prohibit the procurement of the above-mentioned commodities and products from the DPRK by their nationals, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, whether or not originating in the territory of the DPRK, clarifies that the full sectoral ban on seafood in paragraph 9 of resolution 2371 (2017) prohibits the DPRK from selling or transferring, directly or indirectly, fishing rights, and further decides that for sales of and transactions involving all commodities and products from the DPRK whose transfer, supply, or sale by the DPRK are prohibited by this paragraph and for which written contracts have been finalized prior to the adoption of this resolution, all States may only allow those shipments to be imported into their territories up to 30 days from the date of adoption of this resolution with notification provided to the Committee containing details on those imports by no later than 45 days after the date of adoption of this resolution;

“7.   Decides that all Member States shall prohibit the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer to the DPRK, through their territories or by their nationals, or using their flag vessels, aircraft, pipelines, rail lines, or vehicles and whether or not originating in their territories, of all industrial machinery (HS codes 84 and 85), transportation vehicles (HS codes 86 through 89), and iron, steel, and other metals (HS codes 72 through 83) and further decides that this provision shall not apply with respect to the provision of spare parts needed to maintain the safe operation of DPRK commercial civilian passenger aircraft (currently consisting of the following aircraft models and types: An-24R/RV, An-148-100B, Il-18D, Il-62M, Tu-134B-3, Tu-154B, Tu-204-100B, and Tu-204-300);

“8.   Expresses concern that DPRK nationals continue to work in other States for the purpose of generating foreign export earnings that the DPRK uses to support its prohibited nuclear and ballistic missile programs despite the adoption of paragraph 17 of resolution 2375 (2017), decides that Member States shall repatriate to the DPRK all DPRK nationals earning income in that Member State’s jurisdiction and all DPRK government safety oversight attachés monitoring DPRK workers abroad immediately but no later than 24 months from the date of adoption of this resolution unless the Member State determines that a DPRK national is a national of that Member State or a DPRK national whose repatriation is prohibited, subject to applicable national and international law, including international refugee law and international human rights law, and the United Nations Headquarters Agreement and the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, and further decides that all Member States shall provide a midterm report by 15 months from the date of adoption of this resolution of all DPRK nationals earning income in that Member State’s jurisdiction that were repatriated over the 12 month period starting from the date of adoption of this resolution, including an explanation of why less than half of such DPRK nationals were not repatriated by the end of that 12 month period if applicable, and all Member States shall provide final reports by 27 months from the date of adoption of this resolution;

Maritime Interdiction of Cargo Vessels

“9.   Notes with great concern that the DPRK is illicitly exporting coal and other prohibited items through deceptive maritime practices and obtaining petroleum illegally through ship-to-ship transfers and decides that Member States shall seize, inspect, and freeze (impound) any vessel in their ports, and may seize, inspect, and freeze (impound) any vessel subject to its jurisdiction in its territorial waters, if the Member State has reasonable grounds to believe that the vessel was involved in activities, or the transport of items, prohibited by resolutions 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013), 2094 (2013), 2270 (2016), 2321 (2016), 2356 (2017), 2371 (2017), 2375 (2017), or this resolution, encourages Member States to consult with the flag States of relevant vessels once they are seized, inspected, and frozen (impounded), and further decides that, after six months from the date such vessels were frozen (impounded), this provision shall not apply if the Committee decides, on a case-by-case basis and upon request of a flag State, that adequate arrangements have been made to prevent the vessel from contributing to future violations of these resolutions;

“10.  Decides that when a Member State has information to suspect that the DPRK is attempting to supply, sell, transfer or procure, directly or indirectly, illicit cargo, that Member State may request additional maritime and shipping information from other relevant Member States, including to determine whether the item, commodity, or product in question originated from the DPRK, further decides that all Member States receiving such inquiries shall respond as promptly as possible to such requests in an appropriate manner, decides that the Committee, with the support of its Panel of Experts, shall facilitate timely coordination of such information requests through an expedited process, and requests the Secretary-General to make the necessary arrangements to this effect and provide additional resources to the Committee and the Panel of Experts in this regard;

“11.  Reaffirms paragraph 22 of resolution 2321 (2016) and decides that each Member State shall prohibit its nationals, persons subject to its jurisdiction and entities incorporated in its territory or subject to its jurisdiction from providing insurance or re-insurance services to vessels it has reasonable grounds to believe were involved in activities, or the transport of items, prohibited by resolutions 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013), 2094 (2013), 2270 (2016), 2321 (2016), 2356 (2017), 2371 (2017), 2375 (2017), or this resolution, unless the Committee determines on a case-by-case basis that the vessel is engaged in activities exclusively for livelihood purposes which will not be used by DPRK individuals or entities to generate revenue or exclusively for humanitarian purposes;

“12.  Reaffirms paragraph 24 of resolution 2321 (2016) and decides that each Member State shall de-register any vessel it has reasonable grounds to believe was involved in activities, or the transport of items, prohibited by resolutions 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013), 2094 (2013), 2270 (2016), 2321 (2016), 2356 (2017), 2371 (2017), 2375 (2017), or this resolution and prohibit its nationals, persons subject to its jurisdiction and entities incorporated in its territory or subject to its jurisdiction from thereafter providing classification services to such a vessel except as approved in advance by the Committee on a case-by-case basis, and further decides that Member States shall not register any such vessel that has been de-registered by another Member State pursuant to this paragraph except as approved in advance by the Committee on a case-by-case basis;

“13.  Expresses concern that DPRK-flagged, controlled, chartered, or operated vessels intentionally disregard requirements to operate their automatic identification systems (AIS) to evade UNSCR sanctions monitoring by turning off such systems to mask their full movement history and calls upon Member States to exercise enhanced vigilance with regards to such vessels conducting activities prohibited by resolutions 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013), 2094 (2013), 2270 (2016), 2321 (2016), 2356 (2017), 2371 (2017), 2375 (2017), or this resolution;

“14.  Recalls paragraph 30 of resolution 2321 (2016) and decides that all Member States shall prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer to the DPRK, through their territories or by their nationals, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, and whether or not originating in their territories, of any new or used vessels, except as approved in advance by the Committee on a case-by-case basis;

“15.  Decides that, if a Member State has information regarding the number, name, and registry of vessels encountered in its territory or on the high seas that are designated by the Security Council or by the Committee as subject to the asset freeze imposed by paragraph 8(d) of resolution 1718 (2006), the various measures imposed by paragraph 12 of resolution 2321 (2016), the port entry ban imposed by paragraph 6 of resolution 2371 (2017), or relevant measures in this resolution, then the Member State shall notify the Committee of this information and what measures were taken to carry out an inspection, an asset freeze and impoundment or other appropriate action as authorized by the relevant provisions of resolutions 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013), 2094 (2013), 2270 (2016), 2321 (2016), 2356 (2017), 2371 (2017), 2375 (2017), or this resolution;

“16.  Decides that the provisions of this resolution shall not apply with respect solely to the trans-shipment of Russia-origin coal to other countries through the Russia-DPRK Rajin-Khasan port and rail project, as permitted by paragraph 8 of resolution 2371 (2017) and paragraph 18 of resolution 2375 (2017);

Sanctions Implementation

“17.  Decides that Member States shall report to the Security Council within ninety days of the adoption of this resolution, and thereafter upon request by the Committee, on concrete measures they have taken in order to implement effectively the provisions of this resolution, requests the Panel of Experts, in cooperation with other UN sanctions monitoring groups, to continue its efforts to assist Member States in preparing and submitting such reports in a timely manner;

“18.  Calls upon all Member States to redouble efforts to implement in full the measures in resolutions 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013), 2094 (2013) 2270 (2016), 2321 (2016), 2356 (2017), 2371 (2017), 2375 (2017) and this resolution and to cooperate with each other in doing so, particularly with respect to inspecting, detecting and seizing items the transfer of which is prohibited by these resolutions;

“19.  Decides that the mandate of the Committee, as set out in paragraph 12 of resolution 1718 (2006), shall apply with respect to the measures imposed in this resolution and further decides that the mandate of the Panel of Experts, as specified in paragraph 26 of resolution 1874 (2009) and modified in paragraph 1 of resolution 2345 (2017), shall also apply with respect to the measures imposed in this resolution;

“20.  Decides to authorize all Member States to, and that all Member States shall, seize and dispose (such as through destruction, rendering inoperable or unusable, storage, or transferring to a State other than the originating or destination States for disposal) of items the supply, sale, transfer, or export of which is prohibited by resolutions 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013), 2094 (2013), 2270 (2016), 2321 (2016), 2356 (2017), 2371 (2017), 2375 (2017) or this resolution that are identified in inspections, in a manner that is not inconsistent with their obligations under applicable Security Council resolutions, including resolution 1540 (2004), as well as any obligations of parties to the NPT, the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Development of 29 April 1997, and the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction of 10 April 1972;

“21.  Emphasizes the importance of all States, including the DPRK, taking the necessary measures to ensure that no claim shall lie at the instance of the DPRK, or of any person or entity in the DPRK, or of persons or entities designated for measures set forth in resolutions 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013), 2094 (2013), 2270 (2016), 2321 (2016), 2356 (2017), 2371 (2017), 2375 (2017) or this resolution, or any person claiming through or for the benefit of any such person or entity, in connection with any contract or other transaction where its performance was prevented by reason of the measures imposed by this resolution or previous resolutions;

“22.  Emphasizes that the measures set forth in resolutions 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013), 2094 (2013), 2270 (2016), 2321 (2016), 2356 (2017), 2371 (2017), 2375 (2017) and this resolution shall in no way impede the activities of diplomatic or consular missions in the DPRK pursuant to the Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic and Consular Relations;

Political

“23.  Reiterates its deep concern at the grave hardship that the people in the DPRK are subjected to, condemnsthe DPRK for pursuing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles instead of the welfare of its people while people in the DPRK have great unmet needs, emphasizes the necessity of the DPRK respecting and ensuring the welfare and inherent dignity of people in the DPRK, and demands that the DPRK stop diverting its scarce resources toward its development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles at the cost of the people in the DPRK;

“24.  Regrets the DPRK’s massive diversion of its scarce resources toward its development of nuclear weapons and a number of expensive ballistic missile programs, notes the findings of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance that well over half of the people in the DPRK suffer from major insecurities in food and medical care, including a very large number of pregnant and lactating women and under-five children who are at risk of malnutrition and 41 per cent of its total population who are undernourished, and, in this context, expresses deep concern at the grave hardship to which the people in the DPRK are subjected;

“25.  Reaffirms that the measures imposed by resolutions 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013), 2094 (2013), 2270 (2016), 2321 (2016), 2356 (2017), 2371 (2017), 2375 (2017) and this resolution are not intended to have adverse humanitarian consequences for the civilian population of the DPRK or to affect negatively or restrict those activities, including economic activities and cooperation, food aid and humanitarian assistance, that are not prohibited by resolutions 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013), 2094 (2013), 2270 (2016), 2321 (2016), 2356 (2017), 2371 (2017), 2375 (2017) and this resolution, and the work of international and non‑governmental organizations carrying out assistance and relief activities in the DPRK for the benefit of the civilian population of the DPRK, stresses the DPRK’s primary responsibility and need to fully provide for the livelihood needs of people in the DPRK, and decides that the Committee may, on a case-by-case basis, exempt any activity from the measures imposed by these resolutions if the committee determines that such an exemption is necessary to facilitate the work of such organizations in the DPRK or for any other purpose consistent with the objectives of these resolutions;

“26.  Reaffirms its support for the Six Party Talks, calls for their resumption, and reiterates its support for the commitments set forth in the Joint Statement of 19 September 2005 issued by China, the DPRK, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, and the United States, including that the goal of the Six-Party Talks is the verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner and the return of the DPRK to the Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) and International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards at an early date, bearing in mind the rights and obligations of States parties to the NPT and underlining the need for all States parties to the NPT to continue to comply with their Treaty obligations, that the United States and the DPRK undertook to respect each other’s sovereignty and exist peacefully together, that the Six Parties undertook to promote economic cooperation, and all other relevant commitments;

“27.  Reiterates the importance of maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in north-east Asia at large, and expresses its commitment to a peaceful, diplomatic, and political solution to the situation and welcomes efforts by the Council members as well as other States to facilitate a peaceful and comprehensive solution through dialogue and stresses the importance of working to reduce tensions in the Korean Peninsula and beyond;

“28.  Affirms that it shall keep the DPRK’s actions under continuous review and is prepared to strengthen, modify, suspend or lift the measures as may be needed in light of the DPRK’s compliance, and, in this regard, expresses its determination to take further significant measures in the event of a further DPRK nuclear test or launch, and decides that, if the DPRK conducts a further nuclear test or a launch of a ballistic missile system capable of reaching intercontinental ranges or contributing to the development of a ballistic missile system capable of such ranges, then the Security Council will take action to restrict further the export to the DPRK of petroleum;

“29.  Decides to remain seized of the matter.”

Annex I

Travel Ban/Asset Freeze (Individuals)

1.  CH’OE SO’K MIN

a.  Description:  Ch’oe So’k-min is an overseas Foreign Trade Bank representative.  In 2016, Ch’oe So’k-min was the deputy representative at the Foreign Trade Bank branch office in that overseas location.  He has been associated with cash transfers from that overseas Foreign Trade Bank office to banks affiliated with North Korean special organizations and Reconnaissance General Bureau operatives located overseas in an effort to evade sanctions.

b.  AKA:  n/a

c.  Identifiers:  DOB: 25 July 1978; Nationality: DPRK; Gender: male

2.  CHU HYO’K

a.  Description:  Chu Hyo’k is a North Korean national who is an overseas Foreign Trade Bank representative.

b.  AKA:  Ju Hyok

c.  Identifiers: DOB: 23 November 1986; Passport No. 836420186 issued 28 October 2016 expires 28 October 2021; Nationality: DPRK; Gender: male

3.  KIM JONG SIK

a.  Description: A leading official guiding the DPRK’s WMD development efforts. Serving as Deputy Director of the Workers’ Party of Korea Munitions Industry Department.

b.  A.K.A.: Kim Cho’ng-sik

c.  Identifiers: YOB: between 1967 and 1969; Nationality: DPRK; Gender: male; Address: DPRK

4.  KIM KYONG IL

a.  Description:  Kim Kyong Il is a Foreign Trade Bank deputy chief representative in Libya.

b.  AKA:  Kim Kyo’ng-il

c.  Identifiers:  Location Libya; DOB: 01 August 1979; Passport No. 836210029; Nationality: DPRK; Gender: male

5.  KIM TONG CHOL

a.  Description:  Kim Tong Chol is an overseas Foreign Trade Bank representative.

b.  AKA: Kim Tong-ch’o’l

c.  Identifiers: DOB: 28 January 1966; Nationality: DPRK; Gender: male

6.  KO CHOL MAN

a.  Description:  Ko Chol Man is an overseas Foreign Trade Bank representative.

b.  AKA:  Ko Ch’o’l-man

c.  Identifiers: DOB: 30 September 1967; Passport No. 472420180; Nationality: DPRK; Gender: male

7.  KU JA HYONG

a.  Description:  Ku Ja Hyong is a Foreign Trade Bank chief representative in Libya.

b.  AKA:  Ku Cha-hyo’ng

c.  Identifiers:  Location Libya; DOB: 08 September 1957; Nationality: DPRK; Gender: male

8.  MUN KYONG HWAN

a.  Description:  Mun Kyong Hwan is an overseas Bank of East Land representative.

b.  AKA:  Mun Kyo’ng-hwan

c.  Identifiers: DOB: 22 August 1967; Passport No. 381120660 expires 25 March 2016; Nationality: DPRK; Gender: male

9.  PAE WON UK

a.  Description:  Pae Won Uk is an overseas Daesong Bank representative.

b.  AKA: Pae Wo’n-uk

c.  Identifiers: DOB: 22 August 1969; Nationality: DPRK; Gender: male; Passport No. 472120208 expires 22 Feb 2017

10. PAK BONG NAM

a.  Description:  Pak Bong Nam is an overseas Ilsim International Bank representative.

b.  AKA:  Lui Wai Ming; Pak Pong Nam; Pak Pong-nam

c.  Identifiers: DOB: 06 May 1969; Nationality: DPRK; Gender: male

11. PAK MUN IL

a.  Description:  Pak Mun Il is an overseas official of Korea Daesong Bank.

b.  AKA: Pak Mun-il

c.  Identifiers: DOB 01 January 1965; Passport No. 563335509 expires 27 August 2018; Nationality: DPRK; Gender: male

12. RI CHUN HWAN

a.  Description:  Ri Chun Hwan is an overseas Foreign Trade Bank representative.

b.  AKA:  Ri Ch’un-hwan

c.  Identifiers: DOB 21 August 1957; Passport No. 563233049 expires 09 May 2018; Nationality: DPRK; Gender: male

13. RI CHUN SONG

a.  Description:  Ri Chun Song is an overseas Foreign Trade Bank representative.

b.  AKA:  Ri Ch’un-so’ng

c.  Identifiers: DOB: 30 October 1965; Passport No. 654133553 expires 11 March 2019; Nationality: DPRK; Gender: male

14. RI PYONG CHUL

a.  Description: Alternate Member of the Political Bureau of the Workers’ Party of Korea and First Vice Director of the Munitions Industry Department.

b.  A.K.A.: Ri Pyo’ng-ch’o’l

c.  Identifiers: YOB: 1948; Nationality: DPRK; Gender: male; Address: DPRK

15. RI SONG HYOK

a.  Description:  Ri Song Hyok is an overseas representative for Koryo Bank and Koryo Credit Development Bank and has reportedly established front companies to procure items and conduct financial transactions on behalf of North Korea.

b.  AKA:  Li Cheng He

c.  Identifiers: DOB: 19 March 1965; Nationality: DPRK; Gender: male

16. RI U’N SO’NG

a.  Description:  Ri U’n-so’ng is an overseas Korea Unification Development Bank representative.

b.  AKA: Ri Eun Song; Ri Un Song

c.  Identifiers: DOB: 23 July 1969; Nationality: DPRK; Gender: male

Annex II

Asset Freeze (Entities)

1.    MINISTRY OF THE PEOPLE’S ARMED FORCES (MPAF)

a. Description: The Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces manages the general administrative and logistical needs of the Korean People’s Army.

b. Location: Pyongyang, DPRK

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisement
Comments

Latest

America’s Militarized Economy

At some point, the West will have to recognize Crimea’s right to self rule.

Eric Zuesse

Published

on

Authored by Eric Zuesse, originally posted at Unz Review:


Donald Trump’s biggest success, thus far into his Presidency, has been his sale of $400 billion (originally $350 billion) of U.S.-made weapons to the Saudi Arabian Government, which is owned by its royal family, after whom that nation is named. This sale alone is big enough to be called Trump’s “jobs plan” for Americans. It is also the biggest weapons-sale in all of history. It’s 400 billion dollars, not 400 million dollars; it is gigantic, and, by far, unprecedented in world-history.

The weapons that the Sauds and their friends, the 7 monarchies that constitute the United Arab Emirates, are using right now, in order to conquer and subdue Yemen, are almost entirely made in America. That’s terrific business for America. Not only are Americans employed, in strategically important congressional districts (that is, politically important congressional districts), to manufacture this equipment for mass-murdering in foreign lands that never threatened (much less invaded) America, but the countries that purchase this equipment are thereby made dependent upon the services of those American manufacturers, and of the taxpayer-funded U.S. ‘Defense’ Department and its private military contractors such as Lockheed Martin, to maintain this equipment, and to train the local military enforcers, on how to operate these weapons. Consequently, foreign customers of U.S. military firms are buying not only U.S. weapons, but the U.S. Government’s protection — the protection by the U.S. military, of those monarchs. They are buying the label of being an “American ally” so that the U.S. news media can say that this is in defense of American allies (regardless of whether it’s even that). American weapons are way overpriced for what they can do, but they are a bargain for what they can extract out of America’s taxpayers, who fund the U.S. ‘Defense’ Department and thus fund the protection of those monarchs: these kings and other dictators get U.S. taxpayers to fund their protection. It’s an international protection-racket funded by American taxpayers and those rulers, in order to protect those rulers; and the victims aren’t only the people who get slaughtered in countries such as Afghanistan, and Iraq, and Libya, and Syria, and Yemen, and Palestine, but also (though only financially) are the American public, who get fleeced by it — the American public provide the bulk of the real funding for this operation to expand the lands where America’s allies rule, and so to serve both America’s aristocracy and the aristocracies that are America’s allies.

This is how today’s America enforces its ‘democracy’ around the world, so that America can spread this ‘democracy’, at gunpoint, and at bomb-point, like America’s allies, those Kings and Emirs, and the apartheid regime in Israel, are doing, to the people whom they kill and conquer, with help from the taxpayer-funded American military — funded to protect those aristocrats, against their respective publics, and to further enrich America’s own aristocrats, at the expense of America’s own public.

The global ‘aggressor’ has been identified by America’s previous President, Barack Obama, who won office like Trump did, by promising ‘a reset’ in relations with post-communist Russia, and by mocking Obama’s opponent (Mitt Romney) for having called Russia “the number one geopolitical foe” — which America’s aristocracy has historically considered Russia to be, ever since the aristocracy in Russia fled and were killed in 1917, which caused America’s and other aristocracies to fear and hate Russia and Russians, for having ousted its aristocracy, this being an act that aristocrats everywhere are determined to avenge, regardless of ‘ideology’. (Similarly, America and its pro-aristocracy foreign allies, seek to avenge Iran’s 1979 overthrow of the Shah.) As Obama’s own actions during his subsequent Presidency made clear, and as he already had started in 2011 (if not from day one of his Presidency) secretly to implement, he privately agreed with what Romney said on that occasion, but he was intelligent enough (which his opponent obviously was not) to recognize that the American public, at that time, did not agree with it but instead believed that Islamic terrorists and aristocrats such as the Sauds who finance them are that); and Obama took full advantage of his opponent’s blunder there, which helped Obama to win a second term in the White House (after having skillfully hidden from the public during his first term, his intention to weaken Russia by eliminating leaders who were friends or even allies of Russia, such as in Syria, and Ukraine).

This is American ‘democracy’, after all (rule by deceit, lies), and that’s the reason why, when Russia, in 2014, responded to the U.S. coup in Ukraine (a coup under the cover of anti-corruption demonstrations) which coup was taking over this large country next-door to Russia and thus constituted a deadly threat to Russia’s national security, Obama declared Russia to be the world’s top ‘aggressor’. Obama overthrew Ukraine and then damned Russia’s leader Putin for responding to Obama’s aggressive threat against Russia from this coup in neighboring Ukraine. Russia was supposedly the ‘aggressor’ because it allowed the residents of Crimea — which had been part of Russia until the Soviet dictator in 1954 had arbitrarily handed Crimea to Ukraine — to become Russian citizens again, Russians like 90% of them felt they still were, despite Khrushchev’s transfer of them to Ukraine in 1954. The vast majority of Crimeans felt themselves still to be Russians. But Obama and allies of the U.S. Government insisted that the newly installed Government of Ukraine must rule those people; those people must not be permitted to rule (or be ruled) by people they’ve participated in choosing.

Ever since at least 2011, the U.S. Government was planning to overthrow Ukraine’s democratically elected Government; and the plan started being put into action by no later than 1 March 2013 inside America’s Ukrainian Embassy. In preparation for this planned coup (“the most blatant coup in history”), a poll of Crimeans was funded by the International Republican Institute and USAID, in which Gallup scientifically sampled Crimeans during 16-30 May 2013, six months prior to the forced rejection on 20 November 2013 of EU membership by Ukraine’s democratically elected government — that’s six months prior to the Ukrainian Government’s rejection that Obama’s team were intending to use as being the pretext for the anti-Government demonstrations, which would start on Kiev’s Maidan Square the day after this forced rejection, on November 21st. The poll of Crimeans (which was made public on 7 October 2013) found (here are highlights):

p.14:
“If Ukraine was able to enter only one international economic union, which entity should it be with?”
53% “Customs Union with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan”
17% “The European Union”

p.15:
“How would you evaluate your attitude to the following entities?”
“Russia”:  68% “Warm”;  5% “Cold”
“USA”:  6% “Warm”;  24% “Cold”

p.17:
“In your opinion, what should the status of Crimea be?”
“Autonomy in Ukraine (as today [under Crimea’s 1992 Constitution and as subsequently celebrated by RFE/RL on 20 January 2011)”:  53%.
“Common oblast of Ukraine [ruled under Ukraine’s 1991 Constitution]”:  2%.
“Crimea should be separated and given to Russia”:  23%.

In other words: prior to the U.S. State Department and CIA operation to steal Ukraine’s government from Ukraine’s citizens — including especially from the residents of the sole autonomously governed region in Ukraine, which was Crimea — 53% of Crimeans wanted continued autonomy, 23% wanted not only a total break away from the Ukrainian Government but their becoming again citizens of Russia, such as had existed until 1954; and only 2% wanted restoration of the situation in 1991 when Crimea was briefly a “common oblast” or regular region within Ukraine, a federal state within Ukraine just like all the other states within Ukraine were. And, obviously, after America’s coup in Ukraine, the percentage who wanted a total break away from Ukraine rose even higher than it had been before.

Consequently, the U.S. demand that the newly imposed Ukrainian regime, which Obama’s coup created, made upon Crimea subsequent to the coup, and which demand both Obama and his successor Trump insist must be imposed upon and obeyed by Crimeans if the anti-Russia sanctions are even possibly to end, is the demand that Crimeans, in that May 2013 poll, even prior to the bloody Obama coup and the takeover of Ukraine by rabidly anti-Crimean Ukrainian nazishad supported by only 2% (it was demanding reimposition of the brief 1991 Ukrainian relationship, which Crimeans had rejected in 1991), as compared to the 53% of Crimeans who favored continuation of Crimean “autonomy,” and the 23% who favored becoming Russians again.

Furthermore, the May 2013 poll showed that only 17% of Crimeans favored becoming part of the EU, whereas 53% preferred to be part of the “Customs Union with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan”; so, clearly, Crimeans, prior to the democratically elected Ukrainian Government’s having declined the EU’s offer, overwhelmingly wanted Ukraine’s democratically elected Government to do precisely what it did — to turn down the EU’s offer.

During the U.S. coup, and immediately after it, until the 16 March 2014 Crimean referendum on what to do about it, Crimeans saw and heard on television and via the other Ukrainian media, reports that could only have terrified them about the new Government’s intentions. Clearly the U.S. regime had no objection to placing nazis in charge, and Crimeans are intensely anti-nazi — not only anti-Nazi during Hitler’s time, but against nazism, the racist-fascist ideology, itself, regardless of which group it’s targeting; but, in their case, it targets Crimeans, and, more broadly, Russians.

A January 2015 poll of Crimeans was financed by the U.S.-allied Canadian Government, and never made public by them but released in early February only on an obscure site of the polling organization and never reported to the public in the Western press, and this poll found (probably to the sponsors’ enormous disappointment) that 93% of respondents did “endorse Russia’s annexation of Crimea” and 4% did not. On 16 March 2015, the U.S. State Department issued a statement: “On this one year anniversary of the sham ‘referendum’ in Crimea, held in clear violation of Ukrainian law and the Ukrainian constitution, the United States reiterates its condemnation of a vote that was not voluntary, transparent, or democratic.” No evidence was provided for any of that assertion, simply the allegation. Four days later, the far more honest Kenneth Rapoza at Forbes headlined “One Year After Russia Annexed Crimea,” and he opened:

The U.S and European Union may want to save Crimeans from themselves. But the Crimeans are happy right where they are. One year after the annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula in the Black Sea, poll after poll shows that the locals there — be they Ukrainians, ethnic Russians or Tatars are mostly all in agreement: life with Russia is better than life with Ukraine.

Little has changed over the last 12 months. Despite huge efforts on the part of Kiev, Brussels, Washington and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the bulk of humanity living on the Black Sea peninsula believe the referendum to secede from Ukraine was legit.  At some point, the West will have to recognize Crimea’s right to self rule.

The U.S. and its allies have a different idea than that. They reject Rapoza’s view.

The United States claims to support ‘democracy’. But it demands imposition upon Crimeans of a rabidly anti-Crimean Government. What kind of ‘democracy’ does the United States actually support? Has the U.S. Government answered that question in Crimea — and, in Ukraine — by its actionsthere? Obama supported this kind of ‘democracy’, and this kind. He wanted this kind of treatment of Crimeans. Trump hasn’t yet made clear whether he does, too; but his official representatives have made clear that they do.

America has a militarized economy. It also currently has the very highest percentage of its people in prison out of all of the world’s 222 countries and so certainly qualifies as a police state (which Americans who are lucky enough to be not amongst the lower socio-economic classes might find to be a shocking thing to assert). On top of that, everyone knows that America’s military spending is by far the highest in the world, but many don’t know that it’s the most corrupt and so the U.S. actually spends around half of the entire world’s military budget and that the U.S. ‘Defense’ Department is even so corrupt that it has been unauditable and thus unaudited for decades, and that many U.S. military programs are counted in other federal departments in order to hide from the public how much is actually being spent each year on the military, which is well over a trillion dollars annually, probably more than half of all federal discretionary (which excludes interest on the debt, some of which pays for prior wars) spending. So, it’s a very militarized economy, indeed.

This is today’s American ‘democracy’. Is it also ‘democracy’ in America’s allied countries? (Obviously, they are more democratic than America regarding just the incarceration-rate; but what about generally?) Almost all of those countries continue to say that America is a democracy (despite the proof that it is not), and that they are likewise. Are they correct in both? Are they allied with a ‘democracy’ against democracy? Or, are they, in fact, phonies as democracies? These are serious questions, and bumper-sticker answers to them won’t suffice anymore — not after invading Iraq in 2003, and Libya in 2011, and Syria right afterward, and Ukraine in 2014, and Yemen today, etc.

Please send this article along to friends, and ask for their thoughts about this. Because, in any actual democracy, everyone should be discussing these issues, under the prevailing circumstances. Taxpayer-funded mass-slaughter is now routine and goes on year after year. After a few decades of this, shouldn’t people start discussing the matter? Why haven’t they been? Isn’t this the time to start? Or is America so much of a dictatorship that it simply won’t happen? We’ll see.

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

Continue Reading

Latest

Saudi Crackdown On Canada Could Backfire

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is not apologizing for his country’s call that the Saudis release human rights activists.

The Duran

Published

on

Authored by Tsvetana Paraskova via Oilprice.com.


Like many spats these days, the Saudi Arabia/Canada one started with a tweet. Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland called for the release of Samar Badawi, a women’s rights activist who is the sister of jailed blogger Raif Badawi, whose wife is a Canadian citizen.

The arrests had taken place in OPEC’s largest producer and leading exporter Saudi Arabia, which has amassed its wealth from oil and now looks to attract foreign investors as it seeks to diversify its economy away from too much reliance of crude oil sales.

Canada’s foreign ministry’s global affairs office urged “the Saudi authorities to immediately release” civil society and women’s rights activists.

Saudi Arabia—often criticized for its far from perfect human rights and women’s rights record—didn’t take the Canadian urge lightly. Saudi Arabia expelled the Canadian ambassador, stopped direct Saudi flights to Canada, stopped buying Canadian wheat, ordered Saudi students and patients to leave Canada, froze all new trade and investment transactions, and ordered its wealth funds to sell their Canadian stock and bond holdings in a sweeping move that surprised with its harshness many analysts, Canada itself, and reportedly, even the U.S.

The Saudi reaction shows, on the one hand, the sensitivity of the Kingdom to criticism for its human rights record. On the other hand, it sent a message to Canada and to everyone else that Saudi Arabia won’t stand any country meddling in its domestic affairs, or as its foreign ministry put it “an overt and blatant interference in the internal affairs of the Kingdom.”

The Saudi reaction is also evidence of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s harsher international diplomacy compared to the previous, ‘softer’ diplomacy, analysts say. Saudi Arabia is also emboldened by its very good relations with the current U.S. Administration, and picking a fight with Canada wouldn’t have happened if “Trump wasn’t at the White House,” Haizam Amirah-Fernández, an analyst at Madrid-based think tank Elcano Royal Institute, told Bloomberg.

The United States hadn’t been warned in advance of the Saudi reaction to Canada and is now trying to persuade Riyadh not to escalate the row further, a senior official involved in talks to mediate the dispute told Bloomberg.

The row, however, will not affect crude oil exports from the Kingdom, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih has said, adding that Riyadh’s policy has always been to keep politics and energy exports separate.

Canada imports around 75,000-80,000 bpd of Saudi oil, and these barrels can easily be replaced, CBC quoted analyst Judith Dwarkin as saying earlier this week. The chief economist of RS Energy Group referred to this amount as “a drop in the bucket” at less than a tenth of Canadian crude imports compared with imports from the United States, which amount to about 66 percent of the total. The United States could easily replace Saudi crude thanks to its growing production, Dwarkin said.

Still, the strong Saudi message to Canada (and to the world) is not entirely reassuring for the investor climate in Saudi Arabia, which is looking to attract funds for its economic overhaul and mega infrastructure projects worth hundreds of billions of dollars each.

“The Saudi leadership wants to drive home a message that it’s fine to invest in Saudi Arabia and bring your money to Saudi Arabia, but that there are red lines that should not be crossed,” Riccardo Fabiani, a geopolitical analyst at Energy Aspects, told Bloomberg, but warned that such strategy could backfire.

Analysts are currently not sure how the feud will unfold, but Aurel Braun, a professor of political science and international relations at the University of Toronto, told Canada’s Global News that Saudi Arabia is unlikely to back down and reverse all its retaliatory measures without getting something back from Canada.Related: The Unforeseen Consequences Of China’s Insatiable Oil Demand

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is not apologizing for his country’s call that the Saudis release human rights activists.

“We have respect for their importance in the world and recognize that they have made progress on a number of important issues, but we will, at the same time, continue to speak clearly and firmly on issues of human rights, at home and abroad, wherever we see the need,” Trudeau told a news conference this week.

The economic impact of the Saudi retaliation on Canada is unlikely to be large, but the fact that Saudi Arabia is whipping the oil wealth stick to punish economically what it sees as “blatant” interference with its affairs is sending a message to other countries, and a not-so-positive message to foreign investors.

Continue Reading

Latest

US Sanctions are Pushing Russia to War

The American people are being led to the abyss by politicians who are either ignorant, insane or prostitutes for war profits.

Published

on

Authored by Finian Cunningham via The Strategic Culture Foundation…


The new round of sanctions this week unleashed by the United States on Russia has only one meaning: the US rulers want to crush Russia’s economy. By any definition, Washington is, in effect, declaring war on Russia.

The implemented economic measures may have a seemingly abstract or sterile quality about them: banning electronic exports to Russia, rattling financial markets, stock prices falling. But the material consequence is that American officials are intending to inflict physical damage on Russian society and Russian people.

It’s economic warfare on a sliding scale to military warfare, as the Prussian General Karl von Clausewitz would no doubt appreciate.

It seems all the more significant that this week also saw US internet services launching a major clampdown on anti-war websites, suggesting that the powers-that-be want to shut down any criticism or public awareness of their reckless warmongering.

What’s more, the latest round of US sanctions – there have been several previous rounds since the contrived Ukrainian conflict in 2014 – is based on nothing but wild, ridiculous speculation. That only adds insult upon injury.

Washington said the new proposed sanctions are due to its “determination” that the Russian state was responsible for an alleged chemical-weapon attack on a former double agent in England earlier this year.

The so-called Skripal affair involving Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia allegedly being poisoned by Russian agents using a deadly nerve agent is as yet an unproven conundrum. Some might even say “farce”.

No evidence has ever been presented by the British government to substantiate its sensational allegations against Moscow. Its claims that Russia was responsible for poisoning the Skripals rests entirely on dubious assertion and innuendo.

Now Washington is proposing sanctions based on a wholly unverified “determination” by the British – sanctions that are intended to crush the Russian economy. The proposed punitive measures go way beyond the usual freezing of assets pertaining to individuals. What Washington is moving to do is attack the core financial operation of the Russian economy.

No wonder that Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev issued a grave response to the latest American sanctions. He said they were comparable to “economic warfare”. Medvedev warned that Moscow would have to retaliate either “politically, economically or in some other way”. Medvedev’s tone was unmistakably one of alarm at the draconian, gratuitous and irrational nature of the US actions.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also expressed incredulity and apprehension over Washington’s conduct. He said that following the seemingly constructive summit between US President Donald Trump and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Helsinki last month, this latest provocation from Washington makes the American side completely unpredictable.

The immediate sanctions coming into force are limited to banning exports of US electronics to Russia. But it’s what comes next that is perplexing. Washington is saying that if Russia does not give a “guarantee” on halting the future use of chemical weapons, and if Moscow does not allow international inspectors into its country to monitor alleged chemical weapons – then the second wave of sanctions will be applied within 90 days.

The subsequent round of sanctions include banning Russian state-owned airline, Aeroflot, from operating flights to the US. The impossibility of Russia meeting Washington’s absurd demands make the further application of sanctions inevitable.

A separate bill is passing through Congress which is planning to hit the Russian banking system, aimed at preventing international transactions.

Senators sponsoring that bill have labelled it “the sanctions bill from hell”. The title of the proposed legislation says it all: “Defending American Society From Russian Aggression Act”. Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Robert Menendez and Ben Cardin, among other Russophobes who are pushing the bill, are explicit about the objective. They say the measures implemented will “crush the Kremlin”.

Tragically, the American people are being led to the abyss by politicians who are either ignorant, insane or prostitutes for war profits. Maybe even all of the above. Perversely, these politicians and their media clients accuse Russia of “acts of war” over fantastical claims about “election interference” when in reality it is they who are the ones committing acts of war against Russia.

The chances are paltry that President Trump will use his executive power to block the forthcoming sanctions. The political climate in the US among the intelligence agencies, lawmakers and the mainstream media has become saturated with anti-Russian hysteria. The US is an oligarchy in throes of insanity beyond democratic accountable to its people.

Already this week’s announcement of more offensive economic incursions on Russia sent the Russian economy plummeting. The ruble, bonds and stocks all nosedived. This is an attack on Russia’s vital interests. An economic Barbarossa.

No doubt part of the American calculation is to foment social discontent and discord towards the Putin government. It’s the same illegal playbook that the Americans are using with Iran, whose economy this week was also hit with draconian US sanctions.

If Russia’s economy has been thrown into turmoil already over the latest announced sanctions one can only imagine the damage inflicted when further American attacks are mounted on the fundamentals of Russia’s banking system and its freedom to trade with the rest of the world.

For Washington this seems to be open season for sanctions. It’s not just Russia and Iran on the receiving end. China, Canada, the European Union, Turkey, Venezuela, North Korea, among others, are also being battered with American economic warfare, either under the name of “sanctions” or indirectly using the rhetoric of “tariffs”.

For Russia’s part, it has shown immense forbearance up to now in tolerating Washington’s provocations and indeed aggression over numerous pretexts. From the conflict in Ukraine, to the alleged annexation of Crimea, to Moscow’s principled support for Syria being traduced as “supporting a dictator”, to alleged “meddling in US elections”, and much more, Russia has shown huge reserves of stoicism and self-discipline in tolerating what can only be called gratuitous American aggression.

At all times, Russia has maintained a dignified, unflappable posture in the face of American taunting and irrationality. Moscow perhaps thought that President Trump could bring some normality to bilateral relations. That’s turned out illusory.

But what happens now? When Washington has really gone too far. The US has taken its churlish conduct to a whole new dangerous level, by preparing to launch a full-on economic war on Russia’s vital interests.

The crazed American rulers are pushing the world to the brink by their belligerence.

Washington has heretofore given notice that it is not interested in diplomacy, dialogue, or negotiation. It only has one mode of conduct – war, war, war.

Continue Reading

JOIN OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL

Advertisement

Your donations make all the difference. Together we can expose fake news lies and deliver truth.

Amount to donate in USD$:

5 100

Waiting for PayPal...
Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...

Advertisement
Advertisements

Quick Donate

The Duran
EURO
DONATE
Donate a quick 10 spot!
Advertisement

Advertisements

The Duran Newsletter

Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending