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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

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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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French opposition rejects Macron’s concessions to Yellow Vests, some demand ‘citizen revolution’

Mélenchon: “I believe that Act 5 of the citizen revolution in our country will be a moment of great mobilization.”

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Macron’s concessions to the Yellow Vests has failed to appease protesters and opposition politicians, such as Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who called for “citizen’s revolution” to continue until a fair distribution of wealth is achieved.

Immediately after French President Macron declared a “social and economic state of emergency” in response to large-scale protests by members of the Yellow Vest movement, promising a range of concessions to address their grievances, left-wing opposition politician Mélenchon called on the grassroots campaign to continue their revolution next Saturday.

I believe that Act 5 of the citizen revolution in our country will be a moment of great mobilization.

Macron’s promise of a €100 minimum wage increase, tax-free overtime pay and end-of-year bonuses, Mélenchon argued, will not affect any “considerable part” of the French population. Yet the leader of La France Insoumise stressed that the “decision” to rise up rests with “those who are in action.”

“We expect a real redistribution of wealth,” Benoît Hamon, a former presidential candidate and the founder of the Mouvement Génération, told BFM TV, accusing Macron’s package of measures that benefit the rich.

The Socialist Party’s first secretary, Olivier Faure, also slammed Macron’s financial concessions to struggling workers, noting that his general “course has not changed.”

Although welcoming certain tax measures, Marine Le Pen, president of the National Rally (previously National Front), accused the president’s “model” of governance based on “wild globalization, financialization of the economy, unfair competition,” of failing to address the social and cultural consequences of the Yellow Vest movement.

Macron’s speech was a “great comedy,”according to Debout la France chairman, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, who accused the French President of “hypocrisy.”

Yet many found Melanchon’s calls to rise up against the government unreasonable, accusing the 67-year-old opposition politician of being an “opportunist” and “populist,” who is trying to hijack the social protest movement for his own gain.

Furthermore, some 54 percent of French believe the Yellow Vests achieved their goals and want rallies to stop, OpinionWay survey showed. While half of the survey respondents considered Macron’s anti-crisis measures unconvincing, another 49 percent found the president to be successful in addressing the demands of the protesters. Some 68 percent of those polled following Macron’s speech on Monday especially welcomed the increase in the minimum wage, while 78 percent favored tax cuts.

The Yellow Vest protests against pension cuts and fuel tax hikes last month were organized and kept strong via social media, without help from France’s powerful labor unions or official political parties. Some noted that such a mass mobilization of all levels of society managed to achieve unprecedented concessions from the government, which the unions failed to negotiate over the last three decades.

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Soros Mimics Hitler’s Bankers: Will Burden Europeans With Debt To ‘Save’ Them

George Soros is dissatisfied with the current EU refugee policy because it is still based on quotas.

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Via GEFIRA:


After the Second World War, many economists racked their brains to answer the question of how Hitler managed to finance his armament, boost the economy and reduce unemployment.

Today his trick is well known. The economic miracle of Führer’s time became possible thanks to the so-called Mefo promissory notes.

The notes were the idea of the then President of the Reichsbank, Hjalmar Schacht, and served not only to finance the armament of the Wehrmacht for the Second World War, but also to create state jobs, which would otherwise not have been possible through the normal use of the money and capital markets, i.e. the annual increase in savings in Germany.

The Reich thus financed the armaments industry by accepting notes issued by the dummy company Metallurgische Forschungsgesellschaft GmbH (hence the name Mefo) rather than paying them in cash. The creation of money was in full swing from 1934 to 1938 – the total amount of notes issued at that time was 12 billion marks. The Reichsbank declared to the German banks that it was prepared to rediscount the Mefo notes, thus enabling the banks to discount them.

Because of their five-year term, the redemption of notes had to begin in 1939 at the latest. This threatened with enormous inflation. Since Schacht saw this as a threat to the Reichsmark, he expressed his doubts about the Reich Minister of Finance. But it did not help, and Schacht was quickly replaced by Economics Minister Walther Funk, who declared that the Reich would not redeem the Mefo notes, but would give Reich bonds to the Reichsbank in exchange. At the time of Funk, the autonomous Reichsbank statute was abolished, the Reichsbank was nationalized, and inflation exploded in such a way that Mefo notes with a circulation of 60 billion Reichsmark burdened the budget in post-war Germany.

George Soros also proposes such a money flurry in the style of Schacht and Funk.

Soros is dissatisfied with the current EU refugee policy because it is still based on quotas. He calls on the EU heads of state and governments to effectively deal with the migrant crisis through money flooding, which he calls “surge funding”.

“This would help to keep the influx of refugees at a level that Europe can absorb.”

Can absorb? Soros would be satisfied with the reception of 300,000 to 500,000 migrants per year. However, he is aware that the costs of his ethnic exchange plan are not financially feasible. In addition to the already enormous costs caused by migrants already in Europe, such a large number of new arrivals would add billions each year.

Soros calculates it at 30 billion euros a year, but argues that it would be worth it because “there is a real threat that the refugee crisis could cause the collapse of Europe’s Schengen system of open internal borders among twenty-six European states,” which would cost the EU between 47 and 100 billion euros in GDP losses.

Soros thus sees the financing of migrants and also of non-European countries that primarily receive migrants (which he also advocates) as a win-win relationship. He calls for the introduction of a new tax for the refugee crisis in the member states, including a financial transaction tax, an increase in VAT and the establishment of refugee funds. Soros knows, however, that such measures would not be accepted in the EU countries, so he proposes a different solution, which does not require a vote in the sovereign countries.

The new EU debt should be made by the EU taking advantage of its largely unused AAA credit status and issuing long-term bonds, which would boost the European economy. The funds could come from the European Stability Mechanism and the EU balance of payments support institution.

 “Both also have very similar institutional structures, and they are both backed entirely by the EU budget—and therefore do not require national guarantees or national parliamentary approval.“

In this way, the ESM and the BoPA (Balance of Payments Assistance Facility) would become the new Mefo’s that could issue bills of exchange, perhaps even cheques for Turks, Soros NGOs. Soros calculates that both institutions have a credit capacity of 60 billion, which should only increase as Portugal, Ireland and Greece repay each year the loans they received during the euro crisis. According to Soros, the old debts should be used to finance the new ones in such a way that it officially does not burden the budget in any of the EU Member States. The financial institutions that are to carry out this debt fraud must extend (indeed – cancel) their status, as the leader of the refugees expressed such a wish in his speech.

That Soros is striving to replace the indigenous European population with new arrivals from Africa and Asia is clear to anyone who observes its activities in Europe. The question is: what does he want to do this for and who is the real ruler, behind him, the real leader?

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The French People Feel Screwed

For the first time in his presidency, Macron is in trouble and Europe and America are looking on.

The Duran

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Authored by David Brown via The Gatestone Institute:


On December 4, French Prime Minister Édouard Phillipe told deputies of the ruling party, “La République en Marche”, that a proposed fuel tax rise, which had led to the largest protests France has seen in decades, would be suspended.

The protesters, called Gilets-Jaunes — “Yellow Vests,” because of the vests drivers are obliged by the government to carry in their vehicles in the event of a roadside breakdown — say that the fuel tax was the last straw from a president who took office with a promise to help the economically left-behind but instead has favoured the rich.

Even by French standards, the protests of the “Yellow Vests” during the weekend of December 1 were startling. Burning cars and vast plumes of grey smoke seemed to engulf the Arc De Triomphe as if Paris were at war. Comparisons were drawn with the Bread Wars of the 17th Century and the spirit of the Revolution of the 18th Century.

For more than two weeks, the “Yellow Vests” disrupted France. They paralyzed highways and forced roads to close — causing shortages across the country – and blocked fuel stations from Lille in the North to Marseilles in the South.

During protests in France’s capital, Paris, the “Yellow Vests” were soon joined by a more violent element, who began torching cars, smashing windows and looting stores. 133 were injured, 412 were arrested and more than 10,000 tear gas and stun grenades were fired.

One elderly lady was killed when she was struck by a stray grenade as she tried to shutter her windows against the melee.

There was talk of imposing a State of Emergency.

The “Yellow Vests” present the most significant opposition French President Emmanuel Macron has faced since coming to office in May 2017. Unlike previous protests in France, which have divided public opinion, these have widespread support – 72% according to a Harris Interactive Poll published December 1st.

Fuel tax rises — announced in November before being retracted on December — were intended to help bring down France’s carbon emissions by curbing the use of cars. Macron makes no secret of his wish to be seen as a global leader for environmental reform.

He forgets that back at home, among the people who elected him, fuel prices really matter to those outside big cities, where four-fifths of commuters drive to work and a third of them cover more than 30km each week.

The increases have incensed people in smaller communities, where they have already seen speed limits reduced to please the Greens and cuts to the local transport services.

These additional costs-of-living increases come at an extremely bad time for ordinary French people working outside of Paris. Lower-middle class families are not poor enough to receive welfare benefits but have seen their income flat-line whilst cost-of-living and taxes have risen.

An analysis by the Institut des Politiques Publiques think-tank shows that benefits cuts and tax changes in 2018 and 2019 will leave pensioners and the bottom fifth of households worse off, while the abolition of the wealth tax means that by far the biggest gains will go to the top 1%

This is tough to swallow. Macron is seen as being out of touch with ordinary people and is unlikely to escape his new title, “the President of the Rich.”

“People have this feeling that the Paris technocrats are doing complicated things to screw them,” said Charles Wyplosz, an economics professor at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.

It is probably not as complex as that. The French people feel screwed.

As employment and growth are slowing, Macron, for the first time in his presidency, is under serious pressure. Unemployment is at 9%; his efforts to reform Europe are stalling, and his approval rating has plummeted to just 23% according to a recent opinion poll by IFOP.

Images of Macron at the Arc De Triomphe daubed in graffiti calling for him to step down, or worse, have done little to bolster his image abroad.

So far, Macron had said he would not bow to street protests. To underline his point, in September 2017, he called protestors against French labour-market reform “slackers”.

The political U-Turn on the fuel tax is a turning point for the Macron presidency. The question is : What next, both for Macron and the “Yellow Vests”?

Macron most likely needs to plough ahead with his reform agenda, and doubtless knows he has the support of a solid majority in the National Assembly to do so. France is crippled by debt (nearly 100% of GDP) and its grossly bloated public sector. There are 5.2 million civil servants in France, and their number has increased by 36% since 1983. These represent 22% of the workforce compared to an OCDE average of 15%.

Tax-expert Jean-Philippe Delsol says France has 1.5 million too many “fonctionnaires [officials]. When you consider that public spending in France now accounts for 57 per cent of gross domestic product. Soon the system will no longer function as there will be less and less people working to support more and more people working less”.

Macron’s mistake, in addition to a seeming inclination for arrogance, is not to have made national economic reform his absolute priority right from his initial grace period after his election. Lower public expenses would have made it possible to lower taxes, hence creating what economists call a virtuous circle. Instead, he waited.

Now, at a time when he is deeply unpopular and social unrest is in full sway he is looking to make further reforms in unemployment benefits, scaling them back by reducing the payments and the length of time beneficiaries can receive the money. The “President of the Rich” strikes again.

There is talk that he may also re-introduce the wealth tax to try to placate the protestors.

Macron’s presidential term lasts until May 13, 2022. Understandably, Macron will be focused on the elections to the European Parliament expected to be held May 23-26, 2019. Headlines have signalled that Marine Le Pen and the National Rally (formally National Front) are ahead in the polls at 20%, compared to Macron’s En Marche at 19%.

The shift is understandable, given the divide between the countryside, where Le Pen has solid support, and the cities, where Macron’s centre-left prevail.

In contrast, the “Yellow Vests” have galvanised support after standing up for the “impotent ordinary”, and seem much buoyed by the solidarity they have been shown by both fire fighters and the police. There are images online of police removing their helmets and firefighters turning their backs on political authority to show their support for the protestors.

Whilst Macron’s political opposition may be fragmented, this new breed of coherent public opposition is something new. Leaderless, unstructured and organised online, the “Yellow Vests” have gained support from the left and right, yet resisted subjugation by either.

Being leaderless makes them difficult to negotiate withor to reason with in private. The “Yellow Vests” seem acutely aware of this strength, given their firm rebuttal of overtures for peace talks from the Macron government.

Enjoying huge support from the public and with reforms to the social welfare system on the horizon, the “Yellow Vests” are not going away.

For the first time in his Presidency, Macron is in trouble and Europe and America are looking on.

After Macron rebuked nationalism during his speech at the armistice ceremony, Trump was quick to remind the French President of his low approval rating and unemployment rate near 10%. A stinging broadside from Trump on twitter suggests that Macron may well be relegated to Trump’s list of global “Losers“:

“Emmanuel Macron suggests building its own army to protect Europe against the U.S., China and Russia. But it was Germany in World Wars One & Two – How did that work out for France? They were starting to learn German in Paris before the U.S. came along. Pay for NATO or not!”

The “impotent ordinary” in the United Kingdom, who might feel betrayed over Brexit, and the nationalists in Germany, who have suffered under Merkel , are no doubt staring in wonder at the “Yellow Vests”, wishing for the same moxie.

The historian Thomas Carlyle, chronicler of the French Revolution, said the French were unrivaled practitioners in the “art of insurrection”, and characterised the French mob as the “liveliest phenomena of our world”.

Mobs in other countries, by comparison, he argued were “dull masses” lacking audacity and inventiveness. The blazing yellow vests of the French protest movement , however, have made Macron appear increasingly dull and weak too.

David Brown is based in the United Kingdom.

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