Following the 3 July and 28 July 2017 DPRK intercontinental ballistic missile launches, the UN Security Council adopted UNSCR 2371 on 5 August 2017, bolstering the increasingly comprehensive nature of the DPRK sanctions regime.
The resolution broadened the existing sanctions by specifying new items, individuals, and entities subject to sanctions measures, expanding the joint ventures ban to any DPRK individual or entities, and tightening the coal, iron, and iron exports ban by removing the total allowed coal exports limit and prohibiting any iron and iron ore exports (both subject to specific exemptions). The resolution also imposed a port entry ban on designated vessels, targeted additional DPRK export commodities constituting a significant revenue source – lead, lead ore, and seafood, and imposed a limit on the total number of work authorizations for DPRK nationals working abroad (capped at the present level). UNSCR 2371 also decided that DPRK shall not deploy or use chemical weapons and demanded that DPRK complied with its obligations under the Vienna Convention. In order to address to facilitate the work of humanitarian organizations and diplomatic missions in DPRK, the resolution expressly exempted related financial transactions involving DPRK Foreign Trade Bank and Korean National Insurance Corporation and sought to increase sanctions implementation by clarifying a number of provisions and requesting additional analytical resources to strengthen the Panel of Experts’ ability to analyze DPRK’s sanctions violation and evasion activities.
On 8 August 2017, US President Trump declared that provocative DPRK actions would be met with “fire and fury the likes of which the world has never seen” and subsequently proceeded to hold unprecedented military discussions with China and further joint military exercises with South Korea, while the US Secretary of State Tillerson reiterated US openness to dialogue. DPRK responded by threatening to launch a missile near the US Western Pacific territory of Guam, launching an intermediate ballistic missile on 29 August, which prompted same-day condemnation in a UN Security Council Presidential Statement (S/PRST/2017/6), and conducting its sixth and largest nuclear test on 3 September 2017, which triggered an artificial earthquake. Two days later, amidst the rising tensions, UN Secretary General António Guterres, “unequivocally” condemned the test, stressed the importance of UNSC unity in addressing the crisis, and referred to the risk in relation to the DPRK as “the most dangerous crisis we face today.”
Coerce DPRK to cease nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches, end WMD programs, retract Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) withdrawal, and return to the stalled Six-Party Talks to engage in negotiations, including about the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
Constrain DPRK's nuclear proliferation and access to nuclear, chemical, biological, and conventional weapons and their delivery systems related technology.
Signal support for non-proliferation norms, specifically the NPT.
Sanctions Committee and Panel of Experts in place. Designation criteria were specified and targets designated (maximum number of designees during the episode – 62 individual designees, 50 entities). Additional vessels designated. Enforcement authorities specified.
DPRK continued to engage in proscribed activity and showed no intention of returning to the NPT or Six-Party Talks nor a willingness to negotiate denuclearization, engaging in further ballistic missile launches and nuclear test instead.
UN sanctions presented the primary means through which the international community channeled its reactions to DPRK's continued violations. Other unilateral sanctions and threat of military use of force also contributed to DPRK's continued engagement in proscribed activities.
Sanctions episode too short to observe discernable effects on DPRK, DPRK continued to engage in proscribed activities.
UN sanctions presented the primary instruments of constraint. Other sanctions and threat of military use of force also played an important role in constraining DPRK’s nuclear program.
Non-proliferation norm was clearly articulated in Security Council's official statements that strongly condemned DPRK's nuclear and missile activities; DPRK was largely stigmatized as an international pariah and perceived as a threat to international peace and security.
Sanctions remained the primary means for signaling the non-proliferation norm, but US rhetoric and threat of use of force also contributed to the signal.
Increase in corruption and criminality, strengthening of authoritarian rule, increase in human rights violations, increase in international regulatory capacity in different issue domains, increase in international enforcement capacity in different issue domains, resource diversion, significant burden on implementing states, humanitarian consequences, other (impact on humanitarian aid, international organizations, and foreign diplomatic missions in DPRK).