United States Lauds Japan, Australia for North Korea Sanctions

By Jane Morse
Washington File Staff Writer

Washington - The United States praised actions taken by Japan and Australia to implement U.N. Security Council Resolution 1695, which condemned North Korea's July 5 test launches of a series of missiles and demanded the suspension of all activities related to that country's ballistic missile program. 

In a statement released September 19, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack welcomed the Japanese and Australian governments' decisions to impose financial sanctions on entities believed to have provided support for North Korea's programs for weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and missiles. 

Australia has designated 11 North Korean companies and one Swiss company as supporters of North Korea's WMD and missile programs.  The Swiss company, Kohas AG, is believed to be partially under the control of North Korean interests.  Japan designated those 12 entities and three others. 

In addition, both Japan and Australia have designated one individual, the president of Kohas AG, for providing support to North Korea's WMD and missile programs. 

The United States has taken similar action under Executive Order 13382, which blocks the U.S.-based property of WMD proliferators and their supporters. The U.S. government targeted the same 12 entities and one individual for sanctions, and currently is reviewing additional steps that might be required to comply fully with Resolution 1695, McCormack said.

The Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1695 – its first on North Korea since 1993 - just 11 days after North Korea launched several short- to medium-range missiles capable of striking Japan, and a long-range missile that potentially could reach U.S. soil. (See related article.)

The resolution requires all U.N. member states to prevent missile and missile-related items, materials, goods or technology from being transferred to North Korea's missile or WMD programs.  It also calls for steps to block the transfer of any financial resources for these programs. 

"Today's actions will help protect the Japanese and Australian financial systems from exploitation by WMD and missile proliferators and their facilitators," McCormack said in his statement.

"We strongly encourage other states to undertake similar actions," he said.

The full text of McCormack's statement is available on the State Department Web site.

For additional information, see The U.S. and the Korean Peninsula and The Proliferation Security Initiative (PDF, 4 pages).

See also "Bush, Roh Emphasize Unified Stance on North Korea.”

The full text of a press release that includes the text of Resolution 1695 is available at the U.N. Security Council Web site.