These sanctions will keep squeezing North Korea's economy

After the unprecedented summit between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, the array of international sanctions o...

Posted: Jun 12, 2018 5:47 PM
Updated: Jun 12, 2018 5:48 PM

After the unprecedented summit between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, the array of international sanctions on North Korea is back in focus.

The United States pushed through a series of UN resolutions last year that significantly escalated the pressure on North Korea's economy in response to Pyongyang's repeated tests to advance its nuclear weapons program.

China, which accounts for the vast majority of North Korea's foreign trade, said it was enforcing the sanctions, despite skepticism from some analysts.

After the summit Tuesday, China hinted that sanctions relief could follow the Trump-Kim summit in Singapore.

"The relevant UN resolutions say based on how North Korea has followed and implemented the resolutions, sanctions can be adjusted accordingly, including suspending or lifting relevant measures," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said.

Related: Trump's North Korean gamble ends with vague pledges

Trump said at a news conference in Singapore that sanctions would only be removed "when we are sure the nukes are no longer a factor." He acknowledged that could take a long time.

"Scientifically you have to wait certain periods of time," Trump said, speaking about the process of denuclearization. "But once you start the process it means it's pretty much over."

Until then, these measures will keep squeezing North Korea's economy:

Export ban

The UN sanctions took aim at North Korea's exports, banning the sale of coal, iron ore, textiles and seafood.

According to the US government, all of the isolated country's major export industries have now been targeted, cutting off close to $3 billion in annual income.

But Kim's regime is reportedly still dodging some restrictions. A UN report in February found that the country made nearly $200 million from exporting coal and other banned commodities last year in violation of the sanctions.

Related: Could North Korea become an opportunity for American companies?

Fuel restrictions

The Trump administration has sought to deprive North Korea of the fuel it needs to keep its economy running.

The UN sanctions froze the amount of crude oil the country could import at 4 million barrels a year, slashed the amount of refined petroleum products it could buy and banned the supply of natural gas.

But the measures didn't go as far as US calls for China to cut off oil supplies altogether.

Related: UN adopts tough new sanctions on North Korea

Experts predicted that it would take time for the fuel squeeze to hurt the regime, as the North Korean military and nuclear program would be able to draw on stockpiles.

North Korea has also apparently been using ship-to-ship transfers at sea to potentially obtain oil, despite UN sanctions forbidding the practice.

The US government announced new measures to try to crack down on North Korean shipping in February.

Financial isolation

The US government has spent years trying to cut North Korea off from the global financial system, barring American banks from pursuing any financial transactions directly or indirectly with the country.

It has sanctioned various North Korean banks, as well as Chinese and Russian entities and individuals.

In September, Trump gave Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin the power to cut off access to the US financial system and freeze the assets of any company or individual doing business with North Korea.

Related: Trump says he won't add extra sanctions on Pyongyang

Some experts thought that might lead to punishment of a high-profile Chinese bank involved in transactions with North Korea, which would send a major warning signal but also escalate tensions with Beijing.

The Trump administration never went that far, drawing criticism from some analysts that it was pulling its punches.

China had already ordered its financial institutions earlier in September to take a number of steps to comply with past UN resolutions, including halting business with sanctioned North Korean individuals and companies. And employees at some major Chinese banks said they were no longer opening new accounts for any North Koreans.

-- Steven Jiang contributed to this article.

West Lafayette
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 79°
Kokomo
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 75°
Rensselaer
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 72°
Fowler
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 72°
Williamsport
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 74°
Crawfordsville
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 72°
Frankfort
Broken Clouds
76° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 78°
Delphi
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 74°
Monticello
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 74°
Logansport
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 75°
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 51612

Reported Deaths: 2760
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion12074693
Lake5650249
Elkhart361860
Allen2952134
St. Joseph214869
Hamilton1708101
Cass16459
Hendricks1466100
Johnson1345118
Porter84038
Tippecanoe7799
Vanderburgh7686
Clark71144
Madison67864
LaPorte62328
Howard60758
Bartholomew60145
Kosciusko5824
Marshall5579
Noble52028
Boone49144
LaGrange48610
Jackson4783
Delaware47552
Hancock46836
Shelby45925
Floyd41444
Monroe34828
Morgan34531
Grant32226
Dubois3096
Montgomery29820
Henry29618
Clinton2903
White27610
Dearborn26523
Warrick26129
Vigo2588
Decatur25632
Lawrence25225
Harrison21822
Greene19632
Miami1942
Jennings17912
Putnam1738
DeKalb1694
Scott1659
Wayne1586
Daviess15117
Perry14910
Steuben1382
Orange13723
Jasper1362
Ripley1347
Franklin1288
Gibson1242
Wabash1163
Carroll1142
Starke1083
Whitley1076
Fayette1067
Newton10110
Huntington942
Jefferson872
Wells821
Randolph804
Fulton731
Jay720
Knox710
Washington681
Pulaski661
Clay645
Rush623
Posey610
Spencer571
Owen521
Benton510
Sullivan501
Adams491
Brown431
Blackford402
Fountain362
Crawford330
Switzerland320
Tipton321
Parke270
Martin260
Ohio230
Vermillion200
Warren151
Union140
Pike120
Unassigned0193

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events