DPRK Maritime Insurance Workshop

Washington, DC
November 16, 2018

Today, the United States and the United Kingdom met in London with industry leaders from maritime insurance companies, commodity traders, and other relevant parties, to discuss steps the private sector can take to prevent illicit shipping, trade, and other sanctions evasion activities that North Korea uses to generate revenue for its UN-prohibited nuclear and missile programs. North Korea continues to rely heavily on illicit shipping activities to evade UN sanctions. To that end, the United States and the United Kingdom are committed to working with the maritime industry to take proactive measures to fully implement UN sanctions and protect against the provision of insurance and other services to vessels engaging in activity prohibited under the UN sanctions regime.

The meeting featured presentations by representatives from the U.S. Department of State, the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the UN Panel of Experts on North Korea, international research institutions, and the maritime insurance industry. The presentations focused on topics such as North Korean sanctions evasion tactics, public-private sector cooperation, and enhanced due diligence approaches for the maritime insurance industry. As part of the event, participants discussed mechanisms to enhance cooperation between the private sector, governments, and the UN to detect and disrupt North Korea-linked shipping, and proactive measures to halt the provision of insurance and other services to vessels and entities that violate UN sanctions.

North Korea continues to employ deceptive tactics in order to evade UN sanctions. Facilitated by illicit transfers, North Korea’s imports of refined petroleum have substantially breached the UN-mandated cap. We urge all insurance providers, commodity traders, and other businesses to immediately end any and all relationships that support or facilitate the provision of refined petroleum to North Korea or other illicit North Korean shipping activities. As U.S. officials have noted, the United States will not hesitate to impose sanctions on any individual, entity, or vessel supporting North Korea’s illicit activities.

The United States remains committed to achieving the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea. The full implementation of North Korean-related UN Security Council resolutions by all countries is crucial to a successful diplomatic outcome. The international community must continue to implement and enforce these resolutions until North Korea denuclearizes.