U.S. Tightens Sanctions Against North Korea

President Obama issued an executive order March 16 that implements the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016 as well as a March 2 resolution by the United Nations Security Council that imposed new sanctions and tightened some existing measures against North Korea following its Jan. 6 nuclear test and a Feb. 7 launch seen as a test of ballistic missile technology. Among other things, the executive order bans:

•    The direct or indirect export or re-export from the U.S. or by a U.S. person, wherever located, of any goods, services or technology to North Korea;

•    New investment in North Korea by a U.S. person, wherever located; and

•    Any approval, financing, facilitation or guarantee by a U.S. person, wherever located, of a transaction by a foreign person where the transaction by that foreign person would be prohibited as outlined above if performed by a U.S. person or within the U.S.

These prohibitions apply except to the extent provided by statutes or in regulations, orders, directives or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this executive order or the export control authorities implemented by the Department of Commerce.

In addition, the executive order blocks all property and interests in property of the North Korean government and the Workers’ Party of Korea that are in the U.S., that hereafter come within the U.S., or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of any U.S. person. Also blocked are property and interests in property by any person determined by the Treasury Department to fall within one of nine specific categories, including persons operating in the North Korean transportation, mining, energy or financial services sectors, as well as persons determined to have sold, supplied, transferred or purchased to or from North Korea metal, graphite, coal or software where any revenue or goods received may benefit the North Korean government or the Workers’ Party of Korea.