Chronology of Events

revised on 1 April 2019

DPRK (North Korea)

March 2019

On 20 March, the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee held a meeting during which committee members discussed the recommendations from the final report of the Panel of Experts.

February 2019

The 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee held two meetings, on 13 and 21 February, to discuss the final report of the Panel of Experts. On 25 February, the chair of the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Christoph Heusgen (Germany), briefed the Council in consultations on the work of the committee during the past three months.

November 2018

On 21 November, Chair of the 1718 Committee, Ambassador Karel van Oosterom (the Netherlands) briefed Council members in consultations on the work of the committee during the past three months. The Chair updated Council members on his outreach activities and the pending requests for the humanitarian exemptions from sanctions. Some Council members expressed their concern over the humanitarian situation in the DPRK. Most members emphasised, however, that the sanctions should remain in place until the DPRK takes concrete steps towards complete denuclearisation.

September 2018

On 17 September, the Council held an open briefing on the implementation of sanctions on the DPRK. The US requested the meeting to address issues related to the midterm report of the Panel of Experts. Under‑Secretary‑General for Political Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo briefed on recent efforts to  denuclearise the Korean peninsula. During the meeting, the US accused Russia of pressuring the panel to modify its report, which described sanctions violations by some Russian actors, and called on the panel to publish its original report. Russia dismissed the allegations and said that the US interfered in the panel’s work by preventing the circulation of the latest version of the report to the wider UN membership. On 27 September, the Council held a ministerial-level meeting on efforts to denuclearise the DPRK. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo briefed on the ongoing diplomatic engagement and stressed the importance of maintaining pressure on the DPRK until it takes concrete steps towards denuclearisation.

August 2018

On 30 August, the chair of the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Karel van Oosterom (Netherlands), briefed the Council in consultations on the work of the committee during the past three months. The briefing was primarily focused on developments related to the work of the committee, the implementation of the sanctions, and the midterm report of the Panel of Experts circulated to the committee earlier in August. Council members also discussed the ongoing diplomatic efforts on the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

March 2018

On 21 March, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2407, extending the mandate of the Panel of Experts of the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee until 24 April 2019 (S/PV.8210).

December 2017

On 11 December, the Council held its fourth meeting on the human rights situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). The briefers were the High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein (by video teleconference) and Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Miroslav Jenča. The meeting was convened in response to a joint letter from France, Italy, Japan, Senegal, Sweden, Ukraine, the UK, the US and Uruguay. At the beginning of the meeting there was a procedural vote to adopt the agenda at the request of several members, which was subsequently adopted with 10 votes in favour, three against (Bolivia, China and Russia) and two abstentions (Egypt and Ethiopia). On 12 December, the Council was briefed in consultations by Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman on his visit to the DPRK from 5 to 8 December. It was the first visit by a senior Secretariat official since 2011. While in Pyongyang, Feltman met with Minister for Foreign Affairs Ri Yong Ho and Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Pak Myong Guk. He also met with the UN country team and diplomatic corps and visited UN project sites. On 15 December, the Council held a ministerial-level meeting on the “Threats and Challenges posed by the DPRK to International Peace and Security”, with Secretary-General António Guterres as the briefer. Japanese Foreign Minister Tarō Kōno chaired the meeting, and the DPRK and the Republic of Korea participated under Rule 37 of the Provisional Rules of Procedure of the Council. The Secretary-General warned that an accidental escalation could lead to conflict on the Korean peninsula and emphasised that it was time to re-establish and strengthen communications channels, including inter-Korean and military-to-military ones in order to lower the risk of miscalculation or misunderstanding. On 22 December the Council adopted resolution 2397 tightening sanctions on DPRK (S/PV.8151).

September 2017

On 4 September, the Council was briefed by Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman on the DPRK’s 2 September nuclear test. On 11 September, the Council unanimouslyadopted resolution 2375 expanding sanctions to additional sectors of the North Korean economy in response to the nuclear test. The resolution prohibits the import of textiles produced in North Korea, bans gas exports, and sets a limit on the exports of petroleum products and crude oil to that country. It also includes new tools to stop high seas smuggling of prohibited goods. Furthermore, it strengthens prohibitions on employing North Korean workers abroad and demands the closing of joint ventures with North Korea, with certain exceptions to be determined by the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee. In addition, the resolution freezes the assets and imposes a travel ban on one individual and three entities. Following the launch by the DPRK on 14 September of a ballistic missile which flew over Japan, the Council held consultations on 15 September. In the press statement, members of the Security Council strongly condemned the recent launches, condemned further the DPRK for its outrageous actions, and demanded that it immediately cease all such actions and comply with all UN resolutions. It expressed grave concern that by conducting such a launch over Japan, as well as its recent actions and public statements, the DPRK was deliberately undermining regional peace and stability and these actions are not just a threat to the region, but to all UN member states.

August 2017

On 5 August, the Council adopted resolution 2371 condemning the 3 and 28 July ballistic missile launches (S/PV.8019). The resolution significantly strengthened the sanctions on the DPRK. It imposed a full ban on the export of coal, iron and iron ore from the DPRK, whereas previously these items could be exported for livelihood purposes, with a cap on the amount of coal that could be exported. It also prohibited the export of lead, lead ore and seafood from the DPRK. It freezed the number of work authorisations for DPRK laborers working abroad at current levels, unless the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee approves on a case-by-case basis additional authorisations to allow for purposes such as the delivery of humanitarian assistance or denuclearisation. It decided that states shall prohibit the formation of joint ventures or cooperative commercial entities on their territory or by their nationals with DPRK individuals or entities. In addition, the resolution designated several additional individuals for a travel ban and assets freeze, and additional entities for an assets freeze. It further requested INTERPOL to issue “special notices” regarding designated individuals and directed the sanctions committee to work with INTERPOL toward that end. The resolution was adopted unanimously. On 29 August, Council members held consultations following the DPRK’s firing earlier that day of a missile over the territory of Japan. Later that afternoon, the Council met in a formal session to adopt a presidential statement condemning the launch and urging the DPRK to comply with previous Council resolutions and presidential statements.

June 2017

On 2 June, the Council adopted resolution 2356, condemning “in the strongest terms” the nuclear weapons and ballistic missile development activities, including missile launches, conducted by the DPRK in “flagrant disregard” of relevant Council resolutions since 9 September 2016, the date of Pyongyang’s last nuclear test. The resolution added 14 individuals and four entities to the targeted sanctions list under the 1718 DPRK sanctions regime. After the adoption, all Council members spoke explaining their vote. The 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee announced on 1 June that it had amended four entries on its sanctions list, and on 5 June it announced the amendment of another two entries.

May 2017

In a 15 May press statement, Council members condemned the missile launches conducted by the DPRK on 28 April and 13 May. On 16 May, they received a briefing by Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Miroslav Jenča during consultations. That same day, the DPRK sent a letter to the Secretary-General referring to the 13 May launch as a legitimate exercise of the right to self-defence and “categorically and totally” rejected the press statement. In a 22 May press statement, Council members condemned the DPRK’s 21 May missile launch and called on the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee “to redouble its efforts to improve global implementation of all measures, including by implementing the relevant feasible recommendations of the Panel of Experts as soon as possible” (SC/12831). On 23 May, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman briefed Council members during consultations on the missile launch. In that same meeting, the chair of the Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi (Italy), presented his 90-day report on the work of the Committee. The Committee held informal consultations on 10 May to discuss the recommendations contained in the latest report from its Panel of Experts. It also continued the series of regional outreach meetings initiated in March as a follow-up to paragraph 44 of resolution 2321, adopted in response to the 9 September 2016 nuclear test, which requested the Committee “to hold special meetings on important thematic and regional topics and member states’ capacity challenges”. The Committee met with the African Group on 1 May, the Western European and Others Group on 12 May, and the Asia-Pacific Group on 26 May. It had previously met with the Group of Latin American and Caribbean Countries and the Eastern European Group.

April 2017

On 6 April, Council members issued a press statement condemning the DPRK’s 4 April launch of what appeared to be a medium-range missile. They reiterated that such activities contribute to increasing tensions in the region and beyond as well as to the risk of a regional arms race, emphasised the importance of the DPRK’s “showing sincere commitment to denuclearisation”, and again called on member states to redouble their efforts to implement sanctions. In a 7 April letter to the Council, the DPRK accused the US of engaging in “aggressive schemes” that amounted to a declaration of war and warned of a pre-emptive strike. On 10 April, the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee convened a meeting with the Eastern European Group as a follow-up to paragraph 44 of resolution 2321, adopted in response to the 9 September 2016 nuclear test, which requested the Committee “to hold special meetings on important thematic and regional topics and member states’ capacity challenges. In a 20 April press statement, Council members condemned the DPRK’s 15 April failed missile launch and expressed their intention to consider imposing additional sanctions. On 28 April, at the initiative of the US, the Council held a ministerial-level meeting on the denuclearization of the DPRK (S/PV.7932) with a briefing by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Ahead of the meeting, the US circulated a concept note inviting Council members “to discuss ways to maximize the impact of existing Council measures and show their resolve to respond to further provocations with significant new measures.” The meeting was chaired by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who said in his national statement that the time had come “to put new pressure on North Korea to abandon its dangerous path” and urged the Council to act.

March 2017

In a 7 March press statement, Council members condemned the ballistic missile launches conducted by the  DPRK on 5 March. In a 23 March press statement, they condemned the DPRK’s ballistic missile launch of 21 March and the ballistic missile engine test of 19 March. Both statements noted that such activities contribute to increasing tension in the region and beyond as well as the risk of a regional arms race, and emphasised the importance of the DPRK “showing sincere commitment to denuclearisation.” The statements also called on member states to redouble their efforts to implement the sanctions measures imposed by the Council. On 23 March, in resolution 2345, the Council renewed for another 13 months the mandate of the Panel of Experts assisting the 1718  DPRK Sanctions Committee. On 31 March, the Committee convened a meeting with the Group of Latin American and Caribbean Countries as a follow-up to paragraph 44 of resolution 2321, adopted in response to the 9 September 2016 nuclear test, which requested the Committee “to hold special meetings on important thematic and regional topics and member states’ capacity challenges”.

February 2017

On 2 February, the chair of the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi (Italy), held a briefing open to all UN member states, with the Panel of Experts’ coordinator, Hugh Griffiths. Cardi explained the new sanctions measures in resolution 2321 and reminded member states of their upcoming reporting obligations, while Griffiths spoke about the work of the Panel. In response to an 11 February missile launch conducted by the DPRK, Council members held consultations on 13 February at the request of Japan, the ROK and the US, with a briefing by Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Miroslav Jenča. In a subsequent press statement , members condemned the 11 February missile launches as grave violations of the DPRK’s international obligations and relevant Council resolutions. It reiterated the language of previous statements, including a call on states to redouble their efforts to implement the sanctions imposed by the Council, in particular the comprehensive measures of resolutions 2270 and 2321. In a 15 February letter to the Secretary-General asserting that the missile launch was a “self-defensive measure”, the DPRK “categorically” rejected the press statement. The Sanctions Committee met on 16 February to discuss the Panel of Experts’ final report under resolution 2276. According to the report, sanctions implementation remains insufficient and inconsistent, with the DPRK retaining access to the international banking system, and designated entities on the sanctions list continuing to operate. Despite the new sectoral sanctions imposed by the Council last year, the report found that the DPRK has continued to export banned minerals and that coal exports increased from 2015 to 2016. The Panel concluded that support for strengthening the sanctions had not been matched by political will and resources to ensure effective implementation. Among other things, it recommended the designation of additional individuals and entities and the creation of a separate list of designated vessels, to be updated on a regular basis. The Panel also recommended that the Committee issue an Implementation Assistance Notice to clarify which minerals are covered by the import ban. On 27 February the chair of the Sanctions Committee briefed Council members in consultations on the work of the Committee.

December 2016

On 9 December, the Council held a meeting on the human rights situation in the DPRK, with briefings by Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson and Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Andrew Gilmour). The meeting was convened in response to a joint request from France, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Spain, Ukraine, the UK, the US and Uruguay conveyed in a 1 December letter to the Council president. At the beginning of the meeting there was a procedural vote to adopt the agenda at the request of China, which said that the Security Council was not “a forum for discussing human rights issues, still less for the politicisation of such issues.” The agenda was subsequently adopted by a vote of five against (Angola, China, Egypt, Russia and Venezuela), one abstention (Senegal) and nine in favour. On 2 December, the DPRK sent a letter to the Council rejecting the sanctions resolution adopted on 30 November 2016. On 15 December 2016, the Sanctions Committee adopted the list of conventional arms dual-use items referred to in one of the provisions of resolution 2321, which had directed the Committee to adopt such a list within 15 days of the adoption. The items on the list are subject to the import and export ban first imposed by the Council in resolution 1718. On 17 December, the Committee announced the removal of five vessels from the sanctions list annexed to resolution 2270, citing new measures that had been taken to establish confidence that the vessels were not controlled or operated by the Ocean Maritime Management Company, the entity that was listed by the Committee in July 2014 for its involvement in the arms shipment intercepted by Panama in July 2013. On 21 December, the Committee submitted its annual report to the Council.

November 2016

On 30 November, the Council adopted resolution 2321 in response to the DPRK’s 9 September nuclear test. The resolution strongly condemned the test and imposed a series of additional sanctions measures, including further restrictions on the export of coal from the DPRK and an embargo on the transfer or sale of copper, nickel, silver and zinc from the DPRK, as well as statues. Following the adoption, the chair of the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Román Oyarzun (Spain), briefed Council members in consultations on the work of the Committee. In a 22 November letter to the Council president, the DPRK transmitted a memorandum explaining that “the DPRK’s strengthening of its nuclear forces is a righteous choice to defend itself from the extreme moves from the US to stifle it.”

October 2016

In a  17 October press statement closely following the language of the 6 September statement, Council members strongly condemned a 14 October failed attempt by the DPRK to launch an intermediate-range ballistic missile, reported to be a Musudan. Members reiterated their intention to closely monitor the situation and take further significant measures. On 20 October the DPRK made another failed attempt to launch a similar missile, its eighth such attempt since the beginning of the year, but in this case there  was no immediate Council reaction. On 21 October, the DPRK sent a letter to the Secretary-General (S/2016/889) transmitting a press statement by the Permanent Mission of the DPRK to the UN on the “continued forced adoption of the anti-DPRK sanctions resolutions” of the Security Council.

September 2016

On 6 September, Council members met in consultations to discuss the ballistic missile launches conducted by the DPRK on 5 September. In a 6 September press statement, they strongly condemned the launches as a grave violation of relevant Council resolutions and called on the DPRK to refrain from further such actions. They also called on member states to redouble their efforts to fully implement the sanctions measures against the DPRK. The DPRK protested the press statement in an 8 September letter to the Council, affirming its intention to continue to bolster its nuclear force. Following the DPRK’s fifth nuclear test on 9 September, Council members again held urgent consultations and in a press statement strongly condemned the test and expressed their intention to immediately start work on a resolution imposing “appropriate measures under Article 41” against the DPRK. In a 9 September letter, the Republic of Korea called for tougher sanctions against the DPRK and said it would maintain a “posture of heightened readiness” against further provocations.

August 2016

On 3 August, during consultations, Council members received a briefing by Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Tayé-Brook Zerihoun at the request of Japan, the Republic of Korea and the US on the two ballistic missile launches conducted on 2 August by the DPRK. On 24 August, they received a briefing by Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman on the DPRK’s launch of a ballistic missile from a submarine on 23 August. The 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee met on 26 August to consider implementation of resolution 2270 and discuss the mid-term report submitted by its panel of experts. In a press statement issued later that day, Council members condemned the 2 and 23 August ballistic missile launches, as well as launches conducted on 9 and 18 July, as grave violations of the DPRK’s international obligations under relevant Council resolutions. They called on UN member states to redouble their efforts to implement the measures imposed by the Council on the DPRK, in particular those contained in resolution 2270. On 30 August, the chair of the Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Román Oyarzun (Spain), briefed Council members in consultations on the Committee’s work.

June 2016

In a 1 June press statement, Council members condemned the DPRK’s failed missile launches conducted on 27 and 28 April and 31 May which were in grave violation of relevant Council resolutions. They called on all member states to redouble their efforts to implement fully the measures against the DPRK, in particular those contained in resolution 2270, and report on these efforts to the Council as soon as possible, while also welcoming efforts to facilitate a peaceful and comprehensive solution through dialogue. The 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee met on 15 June to discuss implementation of resolution 2270. On 22 June, at the request of the US and Japan, Council members held consultations and were briefed by Assistant-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Miroslav Jenča on the medium-range missile launches conducted by the DPRK on 21 June. In a 23 June press statement, members strongly condemned the launches and reiterated the main elements of the 1 June press statement.

May 2016

On 4 May, the chair of the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Román Oyarzun (Spain), briefed Council members in consultations on the work of the Committee. There was also a discussion about the press statement proposed by the US on 29 April in response to the DPRK’s failed missile launches on 27 and 28 April, which has so far been blocked by Russia. It seems Russia reiterated its opposition to the press statement. On 25 May, the Committee agreed on a template intended to help member states on a voluntary basis to prepare the national implementation reports requested by the Council in resolution 2270 by 30 May. The template will be circulated to all member states and will also be posted on the Committee’s website.

March 2016

On 2 March, the Council adopted resolution 2270 condemning in the strongest terms the nuclear test conducted by the DPRK on 6 January and its ballistic missile launch of 7 February, and demanded that it comply immediately with its international obligations. On 18 March, Council members held consultations on the DPRK and issued a press statement condemning the ballistic missile launches of 10 and 18 March. On 24 March, the Council adopted resolution 2276 extending the mandate of the Panel of Experts assisting the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee, and deciding that the Panel’s mandate should apply with respect to measures imposed in resolution 2270. The renewal of the Panel’s mandate was originally scheduled for 17 March but was delayed by China, which wanted the US’s assistance on the removal of four of the ships listed in resolution 2270 as subject to the asset freeze. On 21 March, the 1718 Committee de-listed the four ships following assurances from China that the ships would no longer use crew from the DPRK.

February 2016

On 4 February, the Council received a letter from the ROK regarding the DPRK’s 2 February notification to the International Maritime Organisation that it would launch an earth observation satellite between 8 and 25 February. The letter characterised the notification as “a direct challenge to the entire international community” and warned that the DPRK would face a harsh international response if it went ahead with the launch.  On 7 February, in response to a satellite launch conducted by the DPRK that same day, Council members met in consultations and were briefed on the situation by Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman. In a subsequent press statement, Council members condemned the launch and noted that although characterised by the DPRK as a satellite launch, it used ballistic missile technology that could be employed to deliver nuclear weapons systems and was therefore a serious violation of relevant Council resolutions. They also recalled their intention to develop significant new measures in response to the 6 January nuclear test and said they would expeditiously adopt a new resolution. The 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee met on 18 February to discuss the final report of its Panel of Experts under resolution 2207. The report concluded that widespread sanctions violations had continued, highlighting in particular the activities of networks linked to the Ocean Maritime Management Company (OMM), which was designated by the Committee in July 2014. Emphasising the importance of implementation by member states, the report noted that several Council members in 2015 had themselves failed to submit national implementation reports as required under resolution 2094. Recommendations included more outreach to non-Council members through open briefings and bilateral meetings, providing additional guidance on the implementation of the arms embargo and the ban on training of DPRK nationals, expanding the list of prohibited items and designating additional individuals and entities for targeted sanctions. The Committee chair, Ambassador Román Oyarzun (Spain), briefed Council members in consultations on the work of the Committee on 25 February.

January 2016

On 6 January, Security Council members held emergency consultations in response to the DPRK’s fourth nuclear test conducted that same day. The meeting was convened at the request of Japan, the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the US , and Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Miroslav Jenča briefed. In a subsequent press statement condemning the test, Council members recalled their determination, as expressed in resolution 2094, to take “further significant measures” in the event of another test and announced that they would immediately begin to work on a new resolution imposing such measures. Also on 6 January, ROK submitted a statement to the Council condemning the nuclear test and calling for additional sanctions measures, while noting that it would maintain “a high readiness posture” against any further provocations.  On 18 January, the Panel of Experts assisting the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee submitted its final report under resolution 2207 to the Committee. The report concluded that widespread sanctions violations had continued and made a number of recommendations aimed at strengthening implementation of the sanctions regime.

December 2015

On 10 December, the Council held a meeting on the human rights situation in the DPRK, with briefings by High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein and Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman. The meeting was convened in response to a joint request from Chile, France, Jordan, Lithuania, Malaysia, New Zealand, Spain, the UK and the US. It was the second formal Council meeting on the human rights situation in the DPRK, following its decision on 22 December 2014, to add “the situation in the DPRK” to its agenda as a separate item from the non-proliferation issue, in response to the findings of the February 2014 report of the Human Rights Council commission of inquiry (A/HRC/25/63). At the beginning of the meeting there was a procedural vote to adopt the agenda at the request of China, who said that the Security Council was not the right venue for discussing issues of human rights and that the human rights situation in the DPRK did not constitute a threat to international peace and security. The agenda was adopted by a vote of four against (Angola, China, Russia and Venezuela), two abstentions (Chad and Nigeria) and nine in favour. The Sanctions Committee met on 18 December to continue its consideration of the recommendations in the Panel of Experts’ February 2015 final report as well as the Panel’s August 2015 midterm report, but there was no agreement on any of the recommendations.

November 2015

On 10 November, the chair of the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Román Oyarzun (Spain), briefed Security Council members in consultations on the work of the Committee. No new incidents of violations had been reported to the Committee since his previous briefing on 26 August. While some Council members stressed the need for continued vigilance, others welcomed the absence of any new provocations as an opening for renewed engagement with Pyongyang.

September 2015

The Sanctions Committee last met on 4 September to consider its Panel of Experts’ midterm report, which mostly dealt with investigations of older cases. (Unlike the final reports, the midterm reports are normally not made public.) Also, at the time of writing, it seems the Committee had just agreed on a letter to the ICRC confirming that a demining project in the DPRK would not violate any of the sanctions provisions, while a similar letter to UNIDO was under silence.

August 2015

On 26 August, the chair of the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Román Oyarzun (Spain), briefed Council members in consultations on the work of the Committee. Also during August, the Council received letters from the Republic of Korea (ROK), dated 18 August (S/2015/642), and the DPRK, dated 21 August (S/2015/658) related to the landmines that injured two ROK soldiers on 4 August and the escalation of tensions between the two countries. On 19 August, the DPRK also addressed a letter to the Council repeating its request for the Council to place the issue of US-ROK joint military exercises on the Council’s agenda (S/2015/650).

May 2015

On 6 May, in response to a request from Mexico the Committee sent a letter confirming that the vessel Mu Du Bong is under sanctions. Mu Du Bong is being held in the Mexican port of Tuxpan after it ran aground in the Gulf of Mexico last July. According to the Panel of Experts assisting the Committee, the ship is owned by Ocean Maritime Management Company which was designated by the Committee on 28 July 2014. On 21 May, the Council received a letter from the DPRK transmitting a statement on its 9 May underwater ballistic missile launches from a submarine along with another statement condemning what US Secretary of State John Kerry had said on 18 May during a visit to the Republic of Korea. On 28 May, Ambassador Román Oyarzun (Spain) briefed Council members in consultations on the work of the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee. The Committee had only held one meeting, on 20 April, since his last briefing on 26 February.

March 2015

On 4 March, the Council adopted resolution 2207, renewing the mandate of the Panel of Experts assisting the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee until 5 April 2016. The Panel of Experts’ most recent report was transmitted to the Council on 23 February.

January 2015

The Sanctions Committee met on 28 January. It was the first meeting under the new chair, Ambassador Román Oyarzun (Spain), who took over the chairmanship from Ambassador Sylvie Lucas (Luxembourg) on 1 January. In a first, the announcement about the meeting in the UN Journal included the agenda. The coordinator of the Panel of Experts assisting the Committee, Hugh Griffiths (UK), presented the panel’s final report under resolution 2141, which had been submitted to Council members on 19 January.

December 2014

On 22 December 2014, the Council held a meeting on the situation in the DPRK with briefings by Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonović and Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Tayé-Brook Zerihoun (S/PV.7353). It was the first time that the Council considered the situation in the DPRK as a separate agenda item from the non-proliferation issue. At the initiative of Australia, ten Council members in a 5 December letter (S/2014/872), expressed concern about the situation in the DPRK and in particular the scale and gravity of human rights violations described in the 7 February 2014 report by the Commission of Inquiry established by the Human Rights Council (S/2014/276) and its impact on the stability of the region and the maintenance of international peace and security. They therefore requested that the situation in the DPRK “be formally placed on the Council’s agenda without prejudice to the item on non-proliferation in the DPRK” and also requested a meeting. (The five Council members that did not sign the letter were Argentina, Chad, China, Nigeria and Russia.) Following objections raised by China, the agenda for the 22 December meeting was put to a vote (S/PV.7353). This was the Council’s first procedural vote since 15 September 2006 when there was a vote on whether to consider the situation in Myanmar as a new agenda item. The agenda was approved by a vote of 11 in favor, two against (China and Russia) and two abstentions (Chad and Nigeria). On 15 December, the Council received a letter from the DPRK in response to the 5 December letter (S/2014/896). It denounced the US in particular for “scheming once again to abuse the Security Council” to implement “its hostile policy” and warned that its actions would certainly bring “serious consequences.” Referring also to the public release on 9 December by the US Congress of its report on the CIA’s interrogation practices, the letter said that the Council should consider “the century-old heinous human rights violations self-revealed” by the US if it was “truly interested in the settlement of human rights issues.”