Two senior administration officials said on Wednesday that North Korea was Washington’s top security concern and that sanctions enforcement on the DPRK would factor into the State Department’s own calculus for extending or relieving sanctions against certain countries.
Speaking at a Department of State press briefing, the two unnamed officials said that countries like Sudan – which are themselves under unilateral sanctions – should consider their enforcement of UN sanctions against North Korea if they want to see U.S. measures lifted.
“It is something that we are doing across the board with a range of countries,” one official said. “So again, I think that all our partners and – across the world, and all people – all the other countries that we’ve raised it with understand where this stands in our security priorities, and certainly the Sudanese do as well.”
The remarks follow a Tuesday announcement from the State Department saying the U.S. would be extending the review period on an Executive Order covering Sudan.
According to the State Department’s press release, one of the reasons for doing so was to ensure “that Sudan is committed to the full implementation of UN Security Council resolutions on North Korea.”
The Sudan has a history of military cooperation with the DPRK, outlined by Andrea Berger at Arms Control Wonk, with North Korea supplying the Sudan with weapons as recently as 2013.
Since 2006, Sudan has only filed one implementation report to the UN Security Council detailing its sanctions enforcement efforts.
But the report gives little detail and is only one paragraph long, saying the country “is fully committed to implementing Resolution 2270 and has informed all relevant authorities of the provisions contained therein.”
The State Department added they had informed the Sudanese government that limiting the North’s weapons development was a top security concern for the current administration and that the Sudan must abide by UN Resolutions on the DPRK.
“(The) Trump administration has made it really clear that the number one security issue for them and for our new government is North Korea. And that is a global, top security issue,” another official said at State Department briefing.
The comments echo remarks made by Nikki Haley at a recent emergency session of the UN Security Council held earlier in July, in which the U.S. Ambassador said to the UN said Washington was putting the world “on notice” regarding DPRK sanctions enforcement.
Edited by Oliver Hotham
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Featured Image: Washington, DC - Capitol Building by DHuiz on 2014-05-16 18:41:04