The UN Security Council unveiled a blacklist to fight North Korea’s deliberate disregard for several international sanctions on its nuclear weapon. New York Times reporter Choe Sang-Hun detailed the announcement on a news article published on April 1, 2018, titled U.N. Unveils A Blacklist To Curtail North Korea. The announcement introduced a new measure that blacklisted 27 ships, 21 shipping companies, and one individual accused of helping the North, aiming to ban the illegal trade that strengthened their economic power.
“The approval of this historic sanctions package is a clear sign that the international community is united in our efforts to keep up maximum pressure on the North Korean regime,” said Nikki R. Haley, the United States ambassador to the United Nations.
Earlier in February when the Winter Olympic Games 2018 was held in South Korea, the North was being questioned about their motivation when they agreed on marching together with the South under one unification flag depicting their peninsula at the opening ceremony. While recently, when Kim Jong-un agreed on the summit meetings with President Moon Jae-in of South Korea and with President Trump of United States, the North is again questioned by some analysts as they try to ease sanctions by the international community.
Clearly, North Korea did not give up their plan to develop nuclear weapons. The tension again increased when the North continued to use false paperwork to export coal and import oil through illegal ship-to-ship trade on the high seas. In response, the UN blacklisted the illegal ocean trade to reduce the finance and resources available to the North.
Ever since 2006, when North Korea conducted its first underground nuclear tests, the UN Security Council has passed four resolutions aimed at penalizing North Korea on its nuclear program. The toughest one was in the last year when the UN banned key North Korean exports like coal, seafood and textiles, and drastically reduced the amount of petroleum the North was allowed to import, according to the New York Times.
Nevertheless, the North will not give up the program, which they argue is a self-defense measure to protect the sovereignty of the country from the U.S.-led hostile forces. In fact, the combined sanctions from various international countries were used as a psychological means to strengthen the internal solidarity by its leader Kim.
Although the implementation of a series of sanctions by various countries has drastically reduced the economic growth of the North over the past few years, it did not fundamentally change their determination on developing the nuclear weapon. All concerned parties in the international community should recognize the effectiveness of intensifying sanctions, and continue to keep up with sanctions until North Korea commits to denuclearizing. The North should also recognize that the international community and the UN will constantly take efforts to keep up maximum pressure on its nuclear weapon program until it agrees on giving up the inhumane strategy to protect its own country.