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Strengthening sanctions against North Korea
Berne, 22.02.2017 – On 22 February 2017, the Federal Council renewed its sanctions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea). It thus implements UN Security Council Resolution 2321 (2016). The new provisions will enter into force on 22 February 2017 at 6 pm.
The United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 2321 (2016) on 30 November 2016, thus intensifying the sanctions against North Korea on the basis of the fifth nuclear test of 9 September 2016, which infringes all previous resolutions by the Security Council. The resolution includes additional tightening of sanctions in trade in goods, finance, shipping, air transport and education. By its decision of 22 February 2017, the Federal Council implements these binding measures under international law in Switzerland.
In the financial sector, it is now redefined that the diplomatic and consular missions of North Korea in Switzerland and their diplomatic employees may only have one bank account. Supernumerary accounts must be closed. Real estate, which is owned or rented in North Korea, may be expressly used only for diplomatic activities. The opening and operation of branches, subsidiaries and representations or bank accounts of Swiss banks in North Korea are prohibited unless they are used for humanitarian purposes, for diplomatic activities or activities of the United Nations. Existing branches, subsidiaries, agencies and bank accounts in North Korea must be closed by 31 March 2017. Any public or private financial support for trade with North Korea is prohibited.
The export ban on luxury goods, as well as for certain dual-use goods for the production of conventional weapons, was supplemented by additional goods. The purchase of certain raw materials (copper, nickel, silver and zinc) and statues of all kinds from North Korea is prohibited, as are the supply of new helicopters and ships to North Korea. With regard to the export of coal originating in North Korea, a global limit of max. Around USD 400 million or 7.5 million tonnes. Compliance with these limits is monitored by the UNO.
Further bans are also being introduced in shipping and air traffic. Thus, no new occupation in North Korea can be procured. The provision of insurance or reinsurance services for ships is prohibited if the vessels are owned or controlled by North Korea or are operated by North Korea. Exceptions are cases where the activities of the ship are for the sole purpose of livelihood or humanitarian purposes.
The prohibitions applicable in the field of education are also being expanded. For example, North Korean students are not allowed to study higher material science, mechanical engineering or electrical engineering. Scientific and technical cooperation with North Korea will be suspended, with the exception of the medical sector.
The UN Security Council had earlier taken sanctions against the state because of the North Korean nuclear program. On 25 October 2006, the Federal Council adopted the regulation on measures against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, which has since been intensified several times. Switzerland is now implementing Resolutions 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013), 2094 (2013), 2270 (2016), as well as the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2321 (2016).