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Amb. Power On U.N. Response To North Korean Arms Smuggling

Published on 30 July 2014

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by Samantha Power, Ambassador


New York, NY

Samantha Power, Ambassador
Samantha Power, Ambassador

U.S. Mission to the United Nations
Office of Press and Public Diplomacy
New York, NY 10017
July 28, 2014

Statement by Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on the DPRK Sanctions Committee’s Actions in Response to the Chong Chon Gang Incident, July 28, 2014

In July 2013, Panama seized arms aboard the vessel Chong Chon Gang that were en route from Cuba to North Korea, one of the most serious violations of the UN arms embargo on North Korea. This was a cynical, outrageous and illegal attempt by Cuba and North Korea to circumvent United Nations sanctions prohibiting the export of weapons to North Korea. That is why the Security Council's DPRK Sanctions Committee acted today to punish the North Korean regime for its latest attempt to side-step international law.

Since the Chong Chon Gang incident, the Committee has undertaken a comprehensive investigation into the violation and uncovered irrefutable facts that clearly prove Cuba and the DPRK’s intentions to violate sanctions by employing highly sophisticated deception and obfuscation techniques, including Cuba’s false claims about the transaction being a routine repair effort when detected by Panamanian and UN authorities.

With today’s welcome imposition of a global asset freeze on Ocean Maritime Management (OMM), the North Korean firm that operated the vessel, its fleet of shipping vessels will no longer be able to operate internationally. The designation of OMM sends an important message to the companies directly involved in violations of UN sanctions regimes: we will find you and hold you accountable.

We also welcome the Committee's release of an Implementation Assistance Notice to publicize the facts of the case and advise states on how to protect themselves from future arms smuggling attempts. We are pleased that with this Notice, the international community has refuted Cuba's erroneous and misleading claim that this arms shipment was allowed under UN Security Council resolutions.

The United States remains concerned about attempts by North Korea to circumvent international sanctions, and strongly condemns any efforts by nations such as Cuba to assist in the illegal evasion of binding decisions of the Council. We will remain vigilant in the enforcement of Security Council sanctions, and applaud the actions of Panama in this instance. Likewise, we applaud the cooperation and efforts of the DPRK Sanctions Committee and urge the Committee to do everything in its power to enforce the vital North Korean sanctions regime.


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Posted 2014-07-30 08:15:00