N. Korean economy suffers steepest decline in 20 years amid sanctions

Posted July 24, 2018

"The countries of the Security Council are united on the need for final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea as agreed to by Chairman Kim (Jong Un)", Pompeo said.

China and Russian Federation have blocked a U.S. request made at the UN Security Council (UNSC) to stop oil transfers to North Korea, the U.S. Ambassador to the UN - Nikki Haley - confirmed on Friday.

"The main reason I came here today was to meet with members of the UN Security Council - South Korea and Japan as well - to convey details of my work on the trip to North Korea earlier this month and the progress that was made there", Pompeo told the media assembled in a UN lobby after his meetings with the Council and with Guterres. We have - we're just going through the process. Washington is also pursuing its unsubstantiated allegations that Russia, China and South Korea are breaching the sanctions. "So do I, as progress is happening", he added without elaborating.

North Korea is also evading sanctions by smuggling coal by sea, across borders, through cyber thefts and other criminal activities, and by keeping workers in some countries which he did not name, Pompeo said. North Korea's gross national income, meanwhile, increased 0.7 percent last year from a year ago to 36.6 trillion won ($32.3 billion) - which is only one-forty seventh of South Korea's GNI of 1,730.5 trillion won.

As for the broader global community, she said, "we ask you to hold tight as we go forward". But probably this will not happen, as Pompeo said clearly that it will take some time.

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The sanctions look poised to remain in place until North Korea makes moves toward denuclearization. "Are they telling us that they want to continue supplying this oil?" said U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley, speaking alongside Pompeo.

More than 10,000 North Koreans worked in the construction, fisheries and agriculture sectors in the Russian Far East, but the tougher sanctions imposed a year ago call on United Nations members not to grant work permits to North Korean laborers. "We have to see some sort of action", Haley told reporters.

Haley says we need to see "action" before releasing the grip on the North Koreans and she admonished other countries to "hold tight" while the deal is in play.

Ambassador Haley reminded the United Nations of how far they have come with the North since then.

The joint statement included a U.S. commitment to providing security guarantees to North Korea in exchange for its denuclearization, and North Korea's promise to recover and return the remains of American soldiers killed in the 1950-53 Korean War.

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Benjamin Katzeff Silberstein, an associate at the Foreign Policy Research Institute who tracks the North Korean economy, said increasing economic penalties seemed to be the main cause of the decline.

"We will hold them up to that commitment", she said.

"Deputy Secretary Sullivan also reaffirmed U.S. commitment to the final, fully verified denuclearization of the DPRK [North Korea], as agreed to by Chairman Kim [Jong Un] in Singapore", Nauert said on Thursday. North Korea has accused South Korea of kidnapping them, while South Korea says they chose to resettle on their own will.

"As long as exports of minerals are part of the sanctions, by far the most profitable item of its exports, Pyongyang will have no choice but to continue with its current negotiations with the US", said Kim Byeong Yeon, an economics professor at Seoul National University, who specializes in the North Korean economy.

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