11/30/16 – FACT SHEET: Resolution 2321 (2016) Strengthening Sanctions on the DPRK

(2016) Strengthening Sanctions on the DPRK

New York City
November 30, 2016 :


Resolution 2321 (2016), adopted unanimously by the UN Security Council on November 30, 2016, strengthens the binding UN sanctions on North Korea (DPRK) in response to its fifth nuclear test conducted on September 9, 2016. This resolution sends a clear message to North Korea that the Security Council is united in imposing stronger sanctions on North Korea’s international trade, financial transactions, and weapons-related programs in response to the DPRK continuing its nuclear- and ballistic missile-related programs in violation of multiple Security Council resolutions. In particular, this resolution imposes a hard, binding cap on the DPRK’s coal exports – the DPRK’s largest source of external revenue.

Resolution 2321 (2016):

  • Condemns the DPRK’s September 9 nuclear test, and reaffirms the DPRK’s obligations not to conduct any further nuclear tests or launches that use ballistic missile technology, to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner, to suspend all activities related to its ballistic missile program, and to abandon all other WMD programs.
  • Strengthens and expands sectoral sanctions on exports the DPRK can use to raise hard currency that can be used to fund its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. The resolution slashes the DPRK’s exports by:
    • Imposing a binding cap cutting the DPRK’s largest export, coal, by approximately $700 million per year from 2015 (more than 60%);
    • Tightening the conditions on coal exports under that cap, including by establishing that coal exports may not involve any individuals or entities associated with the DPRK’s nuclear, ballistic missile, or other prohibited programs and activities;
    • Banning the DPRK’s export of monuments, which the DPRK has used to generate tens of millions of dollars through contracts around the world; and
    • Banning the DPRK’s exports of non-ferrous metals – copper, nickel, silver, and zinc – that provide approximately $100 million in hard currency to the regime annually. 
  • Imposes additional restrictions on the DPRK’s ability to generate revenue and access the international financial system, by:
    • Banning the DPRK from generating revenue by using its property abroad;
    • Prohibiting public and private support for trade with the DPRK, such as export credits, guarantees and insurance;
    • Requiring the closure of foreign bank offices, accounts, and subsidiaries in the DPRK within 90 days, except as approved by the sanctions committee;
    • Requiring the expulsion of DPRK banking and financial officials located outside the DPRK; and
    • Calling out countries hosting DPRK laborers, and urging those countries to take steps to ensure that their wages are not supporting the regime’s prohibited programs. 
  • Counters the DPRK’s proliferation activities, by:
    • Designating for targeted sanctions 11 DPRK officials and 10 entities involved in the development, production, and financing of the DPRK’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, as well as the DPRK coal and conventional arms trade;
    • Expanding the list of prohibited dual-use items that have WMD-related applications; to include an additional 18 items;
    • Creating a list of additional dual-use items that have conventional arms-related applications, to be prohibited for transfer to the DPRK;
    • Expanding the number of advanced proliferation-sensitive disciplines in which specialized teaching and training of DPRK citizens is prohibited; and
    • Restricting scientific and technical cooperation involving the DPRK in certain sensitive fields: nuclear science and technology, aerospace and aeronautical engineering and technology, and advanced manufacturing and production techniques and methods.
  • Imposes strict new sanctions on the DPRK’s illicit transportation activities, including:
    • Prohibiting the sale of new vessels and helicopters to the DPRK;
    • Authorizing the sanctions committee to designate vessels of DPRK proliferation concern for de-flagging, direction to a specific port for inspection, a port entry ban, and/or impoundment;
    • Requiring States to prohibit the flagging of vessels in the DPRK, as well as owning, operating, insuring, or providing any services to DPRK-flagged vessels;
    • Prohibiting the provision of insurance services to any vessels owned, controlled, or operated, including through illicit means, by the DPRK;
    • Prohibiting the procurement of vessel or aircraft crewing services from the DPRK; and
    • Requiring all states to de-flag any vessel that is owned, controlled, or operated by the DPRK, and requiring other states not to re-flag any such vessel.
  • Strengthens expansive cargo inspection obligations imposed in resolution 2270 (2016), by:
    • Requiring that personal luggage and checked baggage going to and coming from the DPRK must be inspected;
    • Reminding states of their obligation to inspect all DPRK-flagged aircraft when they land in or take off from their territory, and calling on states to exercise vigilance to ensure that no more fuel is provided to DPRK-flagged aircraft than is necessary for the relevant flight;
    • Underscoring the need for all states to inspect cargo transiting to and from the DPRK by rail and road; and
    • Applying travel-related restrictions even when individuals are transiting through an international airport terminal en route to another destination.
  • Targets the DPRK’s use of its diplomats and diplomatic missions to smuggle illicit items, sell arms, and raise revenues for the DPRK regime, by:
    • Restricting DPRK government and military officials from entering or transiting other states if they are determined to be associated with the DPRK’s nuclear or ballistic missile programs or other prohibited activities;
    • Limiting all DPRK diplomatic missions and consular posts, as well as all accredited DPRK diplomats and consular officers, to one bank account each;
    • Calling upon all states to reduce the number of staff at DPRK diplomatic missions and consular posts; and
    • Emphasizing that DPRK diplomats are prohibited from engaging in commercial or other professional activities and roles outside of their diplomatic responsibilities.
  • Includes new tools to improve sanctions enforcement, including moving its Panel of Experts to a six-month reporting cycle from the current annual cycle to more quickly address violations and evasions by identifying sanctions gaps and loopholes.
  • Recalls that states subject to UN sanctions, like the DPRK, may be suspended from their UN rights and privileges.
  • Condemns the DPRK regime’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles while people in the DPRK have great unmet needs.
  • Emphasizes, for the first time, the need for the DPRK to respect and ensure the inherent dignity of people in its territory. The reference to the dignity of “people in the DPRK” implicitly recognizes that the DPRK is responsible for respecting the human rights not only of its own citizens but also of people of other nationalities in its territory – such as unjustly detained citizens of various nationalities, including Americans, and those it has abducted from other countries, including Japan.
  • Reaffirms the Council’s support for the Six Party Talks, calls for their resumption, reiterates its support for commitments made by the Six Parties, and reiterates the importance of maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia.
  • Expresses the Council’s determination to take further significant measures if the DPRK conducts another nuclear test or ballistic missile launch.

This resolution has several annexes. These are:

  1. An annex of 11 DPRK individuals designated for targeted sanctions (asset freeze and travel ban);
  2. Another annex of 10 DPRK entities designated for an asset freeze;
  3. 18 dual-use items that have WMD-related applications that are now banned for transfer to the DPRK; and
  4. 2 additional types of luxury goods banned for transfer to the DPRK.
  5. Standard form for monthly coal import reporting to the sanctions committee to be used by all states importing DPRK coal.