Senator Markey Statement on UN Security Council Sanctions on North Korea

Washington (December 22, 2017) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), top Democrat on the East Asia Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement after the United Nations Security Council voted unanimously to enact another round of sanctions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Friday, December 22. Senator Markey has been the leading Congressional voice calling for increased sanctions to help pressure North Korea back to the negotiating table.


“Today’s UN vote is a step in the right direction. These are the kind of measures I have been calling for to bring North Korea to the negotiating table.  However, we still have a long way to go,” said Senator Markey. “Our diplomats are working hard to find a solution to the North Korean threat, and I commend their efforts.  However, this United Nations Security Council Resolution still allows China – and others – to send up to four million barrels of crude oil a year to North Korea. If we want to drive Kim Jong Un’s regime to the negotiating table, we must clamp down on that oil flow – the lifeblood of both the North Korean elites and their illicit and destabilizing military programs. Furthermore, we must find ways to help ensure countries enforce these sanctions, since the UN has no enforcement mechanism of its own and certain countries have not upheld their obligations in the past. The North Korean threat has only increased since President Trump took office and his administration needs to find a way to get China to cut off the crude oil flowing into North Korea. While I applaud this step toward our goal, only the combination of economic pressure and diplomatic engagement will peacefully resolve this crisis.”


In August, Senator Markey led a Congressional delegation to Seoul, Tokyo, and the North Korea-China border, where it was the first foreign group to receive a briefing from Chinese customs officials who enforce sanctions at the border. Senators Markey and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) have introduced legislation to impose economic sanctions on North Korea and its enablers.