2006 sais uski yearbook (rev0708).pdf

U N N U C L E A R A N D M I S S I L E S A NC T ION S A N D S A I S U . S .  K OR E A Y E A R B O OK NORT H K OR E A N I L L IC I T A C T I V I T I E S to return to its self-declared moratorium on ballistic missile tests. UN member states were instructed to “exercise vigilance and prevent missile and missile-relat-ed items, materials, goods, and technology being transferred to DPRK’s missile or WMD programmes,” as well as prevent financial contributions to weapons programs and any transfers of such weaponry from the DPRK to other states. Resolution 1695 further demanded that the DPRK suspend its ballistic missile program and any nuclear programs and return to the Treaty on the Non-prolif- UN NUCLEAR AND MISSILE
On October 14, the UNSC responded to the DPRK’s nuclear weapon test ILLICIT ACTIVITIES
conducted five days earlier by passing Resolution 1718. Building upon Resolu-tion 1695, the new resolution added sanctions against transfers of a broad range of conventional weaponry to the DPRK. Resolution 1718 also called on UN Melanie Mickelson Graham
members to prevent the export of luxury goods to North Korea. The ban on the export of luxury items to the DPRK was unusual and contro-versial. Each UN member country was to draft its own list of banned items. As I. INTRODUCTION
a senior Chinese diplomat explained, “It is difficult to tell what is a luxury good because it differs from country to country.” Some countries might define luxury The year 2006 on the Korean Peninsula will be remembered in history for North goods as items most valued by their own people, while other states might define Korea’s test of its first nuclear device on October 9. Associated with that event them as goods especially valued by the DPRK. were North Korea’s missile tests three months earlier, UN sanctions in response to both the missile and nuclear tests, and North Korea’s refusal to cooperate in Many experts and observers seemed to approve of the new sanction on luxury the Six-Party Talks in Beijing after the U.S. took action in late 2005 against a goods as a means of showing North Korean leaders that the world was aware of Macau bank for assisting North Korea in money-laundering. the domestic behavior of Kim Jong Il, who favored trusted elites while making inadequate provision for the basic needs of ordinary North Koreans. However, David Straub, a former State Department official who once participated in the Six-Party Talks, disagreed. He commented, “Morally, Kim Jong Il should not II. UN SANCTIONS AGAINST THE DPRK
purchase luxury goods for himself or his supporters, [but] the ironic result of the luxury sanctions may be to increase elite support for Kim in North Korea, since the measure will be taken as proof by the North Korean elite of the United “Sanctions” are restrictions applied by one state to punish another state or to seek States’ intention to “stifle” North Korea with sanctions …. [M]ost of the other to force another state to change its behavior. After North Korea invaded South Six Parties and the international community will not seriously attempt to imple- Korea in 1950, numerous states, led by the U.S., applied various sanctions against ment . . . the ban of luxury goods, so this part of the resolution detracts from the the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK or North Korea). Reasons seriousness with which the UNSC resolution as a whole should be regarded and for sanctions against North Korea today range from national security issues to human rights concerns. Many experts categorize sanctions against North Korea on a gradient from the most formal, such as United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions, to the most informal, such as twenty-four international Straub’s prediction about the international community’s response to the luxury banks voluntarily ceasing transactions with the DPRK during 2006.
goods ban appeared accurate. As of year’s end, fewer than 50 of the UN’s 196 member-states had submitted their lists of banned luxury items. Those that were submitted included such items as furs, private planes, motorcycles, cameras, Ten days after North Korea test-launched missiles July 4 – 5 (local time), the UNSC passed Resolution 1695. It condemned the tests and called on the DPRK U N N U C L E A R A N D M I S S I L E S A NC T ION S A N D S A I S U . S .  K OR E A Y E A R B O OK NORT H K OR E A N I L L IC I T A C T I V I T I E S With no specific incentives or disincentives in place for UN member-states to Another former Foreign Ministry official advocated “engagement with prin- enforce Resolutions 1695 and 1781, their implementation was spotty. An exami- ciples,” referring to global norms of non-proliferation, human rights, and market nation of the motives of some of the main players involved in the North Korean economies. “Without these, North Korean leaders will have hope to continue nuclear controversy suggests why some states supported the UNSC resolutions, … the status quo. Providing goods should come with conditions and pressure yet were less than energetic in their application. for gradual change. This pressure should come through quiet dialogue and quiet diplomacy instead of open criticism.” As the South Korean government implemented UN sanctions against North 1. SOUTH KOREA
Korea, however, it remained concerned about the possibility of provoking a military clash with North Korea and continued to believe that increased North Engagement with North Korea remained South Korea’s ideal approach to the Korean dependence on the South would help to ensure peace and stability on nuclear problem, even after the North Korean nuclear weapon test, according to the Korean Peninsula. “Inter-Korean trade is still strong despite the missile various South Korean executive and legislative officials in late 2006. “Economic launch in July and the anger of North Koreans at having conditions put on rice [cooperation and assistance] policy is a strong focus of North-South cooperation exports,” a Ministry of Unification Official disclosed in late 2006. “South Korea towards unification,” commented a Ministry of Unification official. doesn’t want to sanction interaction like [South Korean-sponsored business and tourist projects in North Korea at] Gaesong and Geumgangsan because they re- The “sunshine policy,” initiated by then-President Kim Dae-jung in 1998 and duce tension and maintain an open military dialogue. Progress has been limited continued by his successor President Roh Moo-hyun as the “policy of peace and because the DPRK military is limited in what they discuss--it is a small step but prosperity,” aimed for a so-called “soft landing” for the DPRK. ROK officials a step.” South Korea was widely expected to renew food shipments to the North claimed that the policy had gradually led North Koreans to understand that in 2007 before the complete impact of the DPRK’s poor rice harvest in 2006 living conditions were much better in the South and that the North needed to reform. Even after the North Korean nuclear test, senior ROK government and ruling party officials strongly defended their engagement policy. “Sanctions are Apart from the UNSC sanctions, South Korea also felt pressure in 2006 to join working,” a leading Uri Party legislator opined. “South Korea suspended rice the U.S.-led Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), an informal international shipments after the July missile test and North Korea will be 1.5 million tons effort to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. While refus- of grain short. I believe this decision made North Korea decide to return to the ing to become a member or endorse PSI, South Korea observed PSI exercises in April and decided to include interdiction exercises in bilateral U.S.-ROK drills.
While most South Koreans continued to support at least a generic engagement A former South Korean government official explained: “Policy-makers fear any policy even after the North Korean nuclear weapon test, many South Koreans confrontation between the two militaries [i.e. of North and South Korea] as a began to express a more critical attitude toward North Korea and the sunshine result of PSI. There is a split in the Korean view over the danger of participation policy-type of engagement. A former high-level South Korean Foreign Ministry in PSI and the possibility of an uncontrollable naval conflict.” A U.S. Em- official said in late 2006 that “South Korea wants to exhaust diplomatic means in bassy official commented that he felt the debate about PSI in South Korea had order to see North Korea’s true intentions of either wanting nuclear weapons for become politicized. The issue of PSI was, he said, “simply an initiative to which the sake of having them or wanting nuclear weapons for bargaining. After this countries sign on and comply as much as they want to.” discovery [process], a harder stance should be taken. However, the current post-nuclear situation is an appropriate time to review the impact of engagement and redirect the policy. It is important for South Korea to participate in sanctions because North Korea clearly violated the 1992 [North-South Korean] denucle- arization agreement; we have to punish them in one way or another.” “China sanctions North Korea because we do not want to see a nuclear peninsu-la. China agreed to the [UNSC] sanctions because the resolution has two parts: U N N U C L E A R A N D M I S S I L E S A NC T ION S A N D S A I S U . S .  K OR E A Y E A R B O OK NORT H K OR E A N I L L IC I T A C T I V I T I E S the first part is about the nuclear issue and the second is on resuming Six-Party Talks and diplomacy. China voted for sanctions and diplomacy,” remarked a Chinese foreign ministry official. Considering China’s past reticence to approve Japan was a strong supporter of sanctions against North Korea in 2006 and, international sanctions, its support of UNSC Resolutions 1695 and 1718 sug- with the U.S., led efforts for UN sanctions against North Korea after its missile gested its strong disapproval of North Korea’s behavior in 2006. “China wants and nuclear tests. Due to Japan’s proximity to North Korea and tense rela- to slowly change Kim Jong Il’s behavior but, with his continued provocations, tions between the two, Japan felt itself to be a potential target of North Korean China is willing to do more and put itself on the line,” a U.S. political analyst weapons. Japan appeared even more concerned than the United States about North Korea’s missile program. In August 1998, North Korea had unexpectedly test-launched a long-range Taepo-dong 1 ballistic missile over Japanese territory. Other scholars noted how a crisis across China’s border with North Korea could The test-launch of a more advanced Taepo-dong 2 missile in 2006 intensified endanger the PRC’s continued development at a time when the country’s leaders felt that physical, political, and financial stability was crucial. An implosion or explosion in North Korean might mean massive flows of North Korean refugees The Japanese government and public also remained deeply disturbed by North into the PRC, a deployment of China’s armed forces, a drain on China’s eco- Korea’s failure to clarify the fate of Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea nomic resources, excruciating diplomatic efforts, the presence of foreign troops at during the 1970s and 1980s, and Japanese negotiators told the North Koreans at the China-Korea border, and nuclear materials outside the control of the North the Six-Party Talks that they would have to resolve concerns about the abductees Korean regime—risks that would be of overwhelming concern to any nation. As before bilateral relations could improve. Shinzo Abe, who succeeded Junichiro an East Asian expert observed, “China [thus] gives enough [assistance to North Koizumi as Japanese prime minister on September 26, had come to prominence Korea] to prevent collapse but not enough to make North Korea too comfortable in Japan by taking a tough line toward North Korea on the issue. In addition to leading the effort for UNSC sanctions against North Korea in In 2006, China’s oil exports to the DPRK actually increased compared to 2005, 2006, Japan also imposed its own unilateral sanctions against the country, which while food exports remained at the same level. According to South Korean of- included a six-month ban on North Korean shipping to and from its harbors ficials, China provided up to 90% of North Korea’s oil and over 30% of its food. beginning in October. By the end of 2006, Japan had already submitted to the The sale of Chinese luxury goods, including fur, electronics, and cars, to North UN its list of banned luxury goods to North Korea; luxury items included some Korea also increased since October, in spite of UNSC sanctions. Choi Soo- young, a researcher at the ROK’s Korea Institute for National Unification, said, “China holds the key in the push against the North, but it has remained reluc-tant to squeeze a major lifeline to the North.” 4. UNITED STATES
There was no consensus among experts as to whether the Chinese aid reflected a unique Chinese relationship with North Korea. Chinese officials generally Throughout 2006, the United States continued to take a hard-line approach depicted the relationship as good, but a Chinese graduate student studying inter- toward North Korea. The U.S. remained concerned, as President Bush said in his national relations in Seoul opined that the PRC actually saw the relationship “as State of the Union address in 2002 after the 9/11 attacks, that rogue states such a burden, but North Korea has to be maintained or it will collapse.” as North Korea might proliferate nuclear weapons, materials, and technology to other rogue states such as Iran or, directly or indirectly, to terrorist groups. While The debate about how much leverage China had on North Korea was also the U.S. did not exclude the possibility of using force to end North Korea’s inconclusive. U.S. officials generally said the relationship was close and that the nuclear program, it continued to stress the primacy of diplomacy in the form PRC could, if it wished, exercise considerably more pressure on North Korea. of the Six-Party Talks. “The purpose of sanctions is to induce North Korea to Some even likened the Beijing-Pyongyang relationship to that of Washington cease its nuclear program,” remarked a U.S. official in Seoul. “The U.S. pushes and London. However, Chinese officials tended to downplay their country’s for sanctions because multilateral talks and bilateral talks are not enough. There influence on Kim Jong Il and his elites.
needs to be pressure for these talks to have results.” A former high-level South U N N U C L E A R A N D M I S S I L E S A NC T ION S A N D S A I S U . S .  K OR E A Y E A R B O OK NORT H K OR E A N I L L IC I T A C T I V I T I E S Korean official, however, explained the Bush administration’s motivation differ- III. ILLICIT ACTIVITIES
ently: “President Bush’s moralistic approach proscribes negotiating with immoral people.” The U.S. government moved strongly against the DPRK’s illicit activities in 2005-2006. Experts said that the DPRK had long been engaged in the counter-feiting of U.S. currency and the manufacture and smuggling of illicit drugs and counterfeit cigarettes. 5. EFFECTIVENESS OF SANCTIONS
The prime question concerning North Korean illegal activities was the degree of The extremely closed nature of the DPRK made it almost impossible to obtain control exercised by the regime. Harvard University researcher Sheena Chestnut reliable data about the impact of UN sanctions against it, whether on its political calculations, its economy, or nuclear and missile programs. Analyzing the impact of the sanctions was further complicated by the fact that many sanctions had A lack of state control where individual officials and citizens had the incen- remained in place against North Korea ever since the Korean War. tive and opportunity to pursue criminal activity for personal gain.
The state condoned but did not involve itself in the activity; criminal activity According to a foreign exchange student who studied in Pyongyang for a year, was understood to be a “perk” of certain positions within the North Korean North Korean officials portrayed sanctions as the cause of their country’s eco- state structure but was not centrally supported or coordinated in any way.
nomic failings. “Whatever Kim Jong Il says, everyone believes,” he said. North Korean Central TV showed Kim delivering a speech to officials in which he The state might know about the activity and control it to a certain extent, declared: “Sanctions and pressure will never work on [North Korea]. If the hos- but gave organizations a certain degree of latitude in running criminal tile forces continue escalating sanctions and pressure against [the North], it will resolutely react to them with stronger countermeasures.” The North Korean leadership had pursued a deliberate policy of drug traf- Because of the DPRK’s “military first” policy and Kim Jong Il’s personal support ficking and counterfeiting, based on either ideological motivations or the of the ruling cadre, North Korean elites were unlikely to be seriously discom- need for financial survival, and supported the activity with the full array of forted by the sanctions. Even after the imposition of UN sanctions on luxury assets and personnel available to the central government.
goods, The Wall Street Journal reported North Koreans visiting Dandong, China in December to purchase furs, jewelry, cars, and real estate. The South Korean With North Korea’s high degree of surveillance of the population and insistence newspaper JoongAng Ilbo in December cited an unnamed source in Macau who on conformity, it appeared unlikely that the state lacked control over persons en- claimed that, despite UN sanctions, ten North Korean trading companies there gaging in such sensitive international matters. The second scenario also seemed were still providing the North Korean regime with luxury items.
unlikely given the scope and expense of a program producing high-quality coun-terfeit goods in large quantities. Regarding the third and fourth scenarios, many However, Korea expert Bruce Klingner commented: “[The] DPRK’s economy defectors’ testimonies pointed toward a deliberate official policy of illicit activi- is so bad that sanctions can impact the country’s economy and financial system. ties, but the lack of credible information made a final conclusion impossible.
Sanctions affected DPRK behavior when on 31 October 2006 they agreed to rejoin the [Six-Party] Talks.” A Chinese official agreed that spillover effects from sanctions targeting the nuclear program would hurt the DPRK economy. “Sanc-tions, he said,” will be impactful because North Korea needs aid …. North Korea 1. CURRENCY COUNTERFEITING
needs to improve relations, especially with its neighbors, to ease the sanctions.” The DPRK’s motivations for counterfeiting U.S. currency were unknown. Speculation included a need for foreign exchange due to sanctions and a failed economy, a desire to maintain the living standard of the ruling elite, procurement U N N U C L E A R A N D M I S S I L E S A NC T ION S A N D S A I S U . S .  K OR E A Y E A R B O OK NORT H K OR E A N I L L IC I T A C T I V I T I E S of funds for its nuclear program, and a means of attacking the U.S. economy. In any government and BDA jointly said that BDA would not return North Korean event, counterfeiting of currency by a foreign state could be labeled an act of war. funds in its accounts to North Korea regardless of U.S. actions because the funds would almost certainly be frozen under UN Resolution 1718. A Macau financial The amount of North Korean-counterfeited U.S. dollars, sometimes called official also noted that it was up to the government of Macau, rather than the “supernotes” due to their high quality, was unknown, but $50 million had been U.S., to unfreeze North Korea’s accounts. detected in circulation. Analysts believed that this apparently low volume posed little threat to the U.S. economic system. In the case of smaller economies, how- Some U.S. officials told the media that the consequences of U.S. action against BDA ever, it could cause damage. Both Taiwan and Ireland experienced a local crisis in were much greater than anticipated. “Because the North Korean leadership placed so confidence in the dollar when supernotes were found in circulation there. many of their foreign exchange eggs in the BDA basket, the sanctions on BDA that prompted the closure of these accounts have had an unusually effective impact,” said Of additional concern in the case of the supernotes was the means of their dis- Brad Babson, a retired World Bank expert on East Asia. A Chinese official com- tribution. In 2005, the U.S. government conducted Operation Smoking Dragon mented that “twenty-four million dollars is a lot to North Korea when you look at and Operation Royal Charm against criminal rings in the U.S. distributing their foreign currency reserve.” The subsequent refusal of many other financial insti- counterfeit cigarettes, methamphetamines, and counterfeit Viagra. The gangs had tutions to handle North Korean accounts compounded the damage to North Korea.
promised undercover agents that they would provide them with supernotes and surface-to-air missiles. United States Attorney Debra Wong Yang said on Novem- With North Korea refusing to cooperate in Six-Party Talks until the U.S. arranged ber 9, 2005: “Today’s indictment shows a willingness of the smugglers to acquire for the return of all its accounts in BDA, tensions began to rise between the U.S., practically anything for importation – no matter how dangerous or destructive.” on the one hand, and Six-Party partners China, Russia, and the ROK, on the other. Reflecting media reports of disagreement between the U.S. State and Treasury De-partments and his own skepticism of the Bush administration’s North Korea policy, South Korean President Roh said: “The U.S. Department of State did not seem to 2. BANCO DELTA ASIA
be aware of the Treasury Department’s action [against BDA] in advance. On the other hand, the move might have been a joint plot between the two departments.” A On September 15, 2005, the U.S. Treasury Department designated a bank in Chinese official referred to supernotes and BDA as a “U.S.-NK issue” and expressed Macau, Banco Delta Asia (BDA), as a “primary money laundering concern” under a desire for the U.S. to be more “flexible” so progress could be made in Six-Party the USA Patriot Act for having “been a willing pawn for the North Korean gov- Talks. He described the financial action against North Korea as “a touchstone issue.” ernment to engage in corrupt financial activities.” North Korea cited the designa- “North Korea wants to see if … it can have confidence in the U.S. It wants to be tion as justification for its refusal to participate in Six-Party Talks during most of shown that the US is doing something to improve relations with North Korea.” 2006. U.S. law enforcement and intelligence officials later approached banks and businesses in China, Hong Kong, Macao, Singapore, South Korea, and Vietnam, Under such pressures, the U.S. held a round of bilateral talks with the DPRK on cautioning them against financial dealings of any sort with North Korea. the BDA issue during the Six-Party Talks in December 2006. The talks suggested a change in the Bush administration’s hard-line approach toward the DPRK in general Media reports often termed the freezing of the approximately $24 million in and the BDA issue in particular. A second round was planned for January 22, 2007.
North Korean funds in BDA and the subsequent refusal of many banks to handle North Korean accounts as U.S. “sanctions.” In fact, the U.S. government itself did not freeze any overseas North Korean accounts. Financial markets themselves re-acted to maintain their reputation and avoid regulatory risk. For example, twenty- 3. ILLICT DRUG AND COUNTERFEIT PHARMACEUTICALS
four banks voluntarily ceased transactions with the DPRK in September. SMUGGLING
The U.S. could lift the designation against BDA, but such a step still might not In its 2006 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), the U.S. guarantee market confidence in BDA or other institutions dealing with North Department of State reaffirmed that the DPRK government likely sponsored Korean accounts. In a letter sent to the U.S. Treasury on October 18, the Macau production and trafficking of opium, heroin, and methamphetamines (“meth”). U N N U C L E A R A N D M I S S I L E S A NC T ION S A N D S A I S U . S .  K OR E A Y E A R B O OK NORT H K OR E A N I L L IC I T A C T I V I T I E S Most North Korean-produced meth ended up in Japan, where it was distribution Time Magazine in January 2006 disclosed a 2005 investigative report com- by criminal organizations. Traditionally, 30-40% of meth seized in Japan was tied missioned by major U.S., European, and Japanese tobacco corporations and to the DPRK. More recently, the share of North Korean meth on the Japanese compiled by undercover agents, informants, and industry experts. The report market was declining, apparently due to increased meth production in China or estimated that 10-12 factories in the DPRK produced 41 billion counterfeit because DPRK meth was attributed to China because of Chinese criminal orga- cigarettes per year, with estimated profits of $80-$160 million. It also pointed nizations’ middle-man role. North Korean drugs were also trafficked into China, to the DPRK military and domestic security services as owning some of the and North Korea served as a primary source of illicit drugs, including heroin, factories, while foreign crime organizations owned others. David Asher, who had crystal meth, ecstasy, and ketamine, to Taiwan. South Korea received very few served as senior advisor to the former Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia controlled substances from North Korean due to their closed border.
and Pacific Affairs James Kelly, claimed that the sale of counterfeit cigarettes constituted the DPRK’s biggest source of foreign currency. The year 2006 saw the trial in Japan of two Japanese men and a South Korean man charged with smuggling 180 kilograms of meth. Japan’s National Police Agency (NPA) reported that the men’s cargo ship had made many trips from North Korea to Japan since 2000 and that it was used to carry hundreds of kilos IV. CONCLUSION
of amphetamines. The drugs were packed in bundles, then dropped in waters off Japan for fishing boats to retrieve and take to shore.
North Korea’s criminal activities to earn foreign revenue appeared unlikely to end soon, despite pressures from the U.S., Japan, and other members of the In July 2006, the NPA concluded that North Korea’s drug trade involved DPRK international community. International sanctions, including those by the UNSC government participation, based on an investigation into seven cases over nine in response to the nuclear and missile tests, did not appear to be well coordinated years. Smugglers claimed that their actions had been overseen by the North or carefully implemented, and North Korea, long accustomed to international Korean government. The NPA believed that three or four secret plants in North sanctions, repeatedly stressed that it would not be pressured. Korea were the source of most meth trafficked to Japan. The Japanese investiga-tion was continuing as of the end of 2006. According to the 2006 INCSR, there was “compelling evidence of DPRK involvement in trademark violations carried out in league with criminal gangs around the world, including . trafficking in counterfeit Viagra.” Because of high prices and demand for Viagra, North Korea presumably made a substantial profit from the sales. While no significant events related to counterfeit Viagra or other pharmaceuticals were disclosed during 2006, investigation into DPRK activities in this arena was ongoing. 4. CIGARETTE SMUGGLING
The Japan Coast Guard confirmed in May 2006, for the first time, that inspec-tors had found counterfeit cigarettes aboard ships whose last port of call was North Korea. Japanese newspapers reported a new assignment for the special task force investigating the Japanese abductees issue: Uncover how North Ko-rean-made Mild Seven-brand cigarettes were manufactured and distributed in Japan.

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