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On N Korea, Trump & Moon Agree to De-Conflict Olympics, ICP Asks What Guterres Is Doing

By Matthew Russell Lee, Video, Patreon

UNITED NATIONS, January 4 – Amid news of the December 22 vote in the UN Security Council on the new North Korea sanctions draft, put on Patreon here, less focus was on the 10 North Korean ships the US had asked the Council's 1718 sanctions committee to put on its list. Now that four of those ten are on the list, now South Korea has seized another ship that wasn't even proposed: the Panamanian flagged KOTI. They say, "the investigation is underway." Will it be finished before their upcoming Winter Olympics? As of 2 pm on January 4 the 1718 committee online list, presumably now run by the Netherlands, had not been updated since December 22. Meanwhile the US put out this read-out: "President Donald J. Trump spoke today with President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea to discuss recent developments on the Korean Peninsula.  The two leaders agreed to continue the campaign of maximum pressure against North Korea and to not repeat mistakes of the past.  The United States and the Republic of Korea are committed to a safe and successful 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang.  President Trump told President Moon that the United States will send a high-level delegation to the Olympics.  The two leaders agreed to de-conflict the Olympics and our military exercises so that United States and Republic of Korea forces can focus on ensuring the security of the Games." Inner City Press at the UN asked why SG Guterres hasn't met with North Korea, as the President of the General Assembly has. Asked what Guterres is doing since he returned from the 11 day vacation on which he issued a "red alert" to the world, the spokesman could list only internal meetings. Red alert, indeed. Haq also had this canned response: “The Secretary General is very keen to make sure that all the UNSC resolutions concerning the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula are fully implemented. In that context he is hoping the recent moves will help pave the way for such resolutions to be implemented through diplomatic initiatives.” On January 3 from elsewhere in the UN, this: "The President of the 72nd session of the General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Miroslav Lajcák, met today with H.E. Mr. Ja Song Nam, Permanent Representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to the United Nations, at the request of the Permanent Representative. The President of the General Assembly said he was pleased with the readiness of DPRK to constructively engage in a dialogue with the Republic of Korea, including a possible participation of a delegation from DPRK in the Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, Republic of Korea, as well as with the reopening of the communication channels." From Guterres, back from vacation, platitudes through his deputy spokesman. Red alert indeed. The day after passage of the changed - and left unclear on one name - resolution, when Inner City Press came in to the UN to cover the end game of the stalled UN budget, sources told it that China has "broken silence" on the US' ship listing requesting, moving the deadline back to December 28. On the afternoon of December 28 Inner City Press came into the UN to check. It received an answer, that the "vessels are still under discussion within the 1718 Committee." Now the discussion has evolved: China has agreed to put four of the ten ships on the sanctions list - the BILLIONS NO. 18, UL JI BONG 6, RUNG RA 2 and RYE SONG GANG - while six are kept off the list, essentially vetoed by China: Xin Sheng Hai, HK-flagged Lighthouse Winmore; Togo-flagged Yu Yuan (Togo voted with the UN on Jerusalem, while also killing protesters); Panama-flagged Glory Hope 1 a/k/a Kai Xiang and NK's Sam Jong 2. Sam Jong rides again? Actually, a very involved party tells Inner City Press it was BILLIONS No. 18 that stayed off the list, with Sam Jong 2 on. Typically, the 1718 Sanctions Committee website, under outgoing Italian chairmanship and spokespersonship, had not been updated as of 11 am on December 29. Then again, there are reports of Italy bombing illegally exported to the Saudi led Coalition for bombing in Yemen, about which Inner City Press has asked the UN Spokesman. We'll have more on this. Back on December 22 the North Korea vote was to be at 1 pm but was delayed: Nikki Haley and her counterparts from Russia and China had stepped out. When they returned, the resolution was adopted 15-0. It was different than the draft the night before, not only in extending the time for the repatriation of North Korean workers from 12 to 24 months as Inner City Press immediately tweeted, but also adding a paragraph that "this resolution shall in no way impede the activities of diplomatic or consular missions in the DPRK pursuant to the Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic and Consular Relations" and dropping from sanctions these four: JI SANG JUN, an official of Korea Kumgang Group Bank, AKA:  Chi Sang-chun, PAK CHOL NAM, an overseas First Credit Bank representative, AKA:  Pak Ch'o'l-nam, PAK MUN IL, an overseas official of Korea Daesong Bank, AKA: Pak Mun-il; and PANG SU NAM an overseas Ilsim International Bank representative, Pang So-nam; Pang Sunam. (Since they were removed, we are omitting their DOBs and passport numbers.) A summary was sent out, including that "5. North Korean Overseas Workers (OP8): Requires countries to expel all North Korean laborers earning income abroad immediately but no later than 24 months later (end of 2019)." But in the draft, in OP8, it was TWELVE months: "decides that Member States  shall repatriate to the DPRK all DPRK nationals earning income in that Member State’s jurisdiction and all DPRK government safety oversight attachés monitoring DPRK workers abroad within 12 months from the date of adoption of this resolution." Call it the Art of the Deal. We'll have more on this. In North Korea accompanying UN Department of Political Affairs chief Jeffrey Feltman was a former staffer of his who now works directly with Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Katrin Hett. UN's belated read-out below, along with a fast summary of Feltman's December 12 press encounter, in which Inner City Press asked him about North Korea's arguments against sanctions, and if Secretary General Antonio Guterres has a role (apparently not). Now on December 15 in the UN Security Council, after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's speech, below, Russia's Permanent Representative Nebenzia said, "We are living through one of the most acute and dramatic phases of the situation on the Korean peninsula. Military rhetoric accompanied by a test of strength between the participants has led to a situation where people start to wonder whether there will be war or not. Russia has observed with concern the dangerous developments. We call on the NK authorities to return to the non proliferation regime of the NPT and the IAEA as a non-nuclear state. At the same time, it should be clear to everybody that the DPRK is hardly going to refrain from its nuclear and missile program while it feels a threat to its security. Diplomacy isn’t just sanctions. Sanctions aren’t diplomacy, as some partners are trying to convince us. There is a whole range of other methods within the diplomatic arsenal. Resolving the nuclear issue is not possible just through pressure. Incidentally, in response to the US secretary of state, the North Korean workers aren’t working in in Russia in slave like conditions. They’re working on a basis of an intergovernmental agreement with DPRK that guarantees their rights. We hope the US will be able to help resolve the crisis in the Korean peninsula. Two and a half months of quiet from Pyongyang were answered by the US by unannounced military exercises." Earlier, Tillerson said, "This body has taken a leading role in condemning North Korea’s unlawful programs and imposing consequences. We will not accept a nuclear North Korea. Each UN member state must implement existing UNSC resolution… hesitation calls into question whether your vote is in words only. More can and must be done beyond enforcing the minimum requirements of the Security Council resolutions. Many allies and partners of the US have joined our campaign, going beyond mere compliance with the Security Council resolutions. We ask these nations to further increase pressure through unilateral actions. We particularly call on Russia and China to increase pressure. Continuing to allow North Korea laborers to toil under slave-like conditions inside Russia, in exchange for wages used to fund nuclear programs, calls into questions Russia’s position as a partner for peace. Similarly, as Chinese oil continues to flow into North Korea, The US questions China’s dedication to solving this issue. All options remain on the table in defense of our nation. But we do not seek or want war with North Korea. The US will use all necessary measures to defend ourselves against North Korea. North Korea must earn its way back to the [negotiating] table. The pressure campaign must and will continue until denuclearization is achieved. We will in the mean time keep our channels open." Earn its way back is different that "no preconditions." More on this to follow.
Here's the ICP fast summary of Feltman's stakeout on December 12: "The international community is united in its opposition to the DPRK’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. I emphasized the importance of…the military to military hotline to reduce risks and manage crisis.  My visit was only a beginning, and we should continue our dialogue. I learned of an anticipated funding shortfall that could seriously affect the people of the DPRK. In my career, this was the most important mission I’ve ever undertaken. Time will tell what was the impact of our discussions. But I think we’ve left the door ajar. And I fervently hope that the door to a negotatited solution will now be open wide. Q: Tillerson says no pre-conditions to talks. Is that helpful? What will the next step be? A: I just came from the SC, and the SC was united on the fact that we need a political solution. The most recent SC resolution calls for a peaceful, diplomatic solution. That was the message I took to Pyongyang: that the international community is committed to that kind of solution. We have to open the door to a different direction. They agreed that it was important to prevent war. How they do that, how we do that was the topic of 15 plus hours of discussion. The people we met listened to our arguments, they explored our thinking. Ultimately they have to take what we said and talk about it with our leadership. So I’m reluctant to say now what was the impact of our visit. Because they need time to consider. Q: Did you sense that the North Koreans are willing to talk to the US? A: We emphasized to the DPRK officials that we really believe they need to signal that they’re wiling to go in a different direction, to start talking about talks. They listened seriously to our arguments, but they were not --- they didn’t offer any type of commitment to us at that point. I think they need to reflect on what we said with their leadership. Q: In your statement you noted difficulty with procurement and funding gaps. What’s the impact of SC sanctions on the country? A: Sanctions helped us in one way: there is international consensus. They were very much focused on 1 particular member state. And we were trying ot help them understand that, whatever the problems are between Pyongyang and Washington, they have a larger problem, that the international community does not accept the nuclear program. So the sanctions helped us.What I was concerned about was the reduction in programs for the DPRK. The program is only 30 percent funded. It’s having a large impact on how the UN can deliver on its humanitarian programs. I was concerned about the overall lack of funding…which affects the UN’s ability to deliver life-saving equipment on the ground. Inner City Press question on DPRK's letters to SG Guterres about sanctions and any role of SG himself. A: We discussed this. But their argument is that the SC sanctions are contrary to the charter, and there needs to be some kind of mechanism to look at this. The reality is that the charter is quite different. The UN is not a member state. We talked a lot about what the charter actually says, that article 39 gives the Security Council the right to decide…this is something they will continue to bring up with us. Q: Is the lack of funding for the appeal linked to the sanctions? Did you ask to meet with Kim? A: I suppose the atmosphere around the DPRK and the unease the international community has has contributed to this. There’s a sense that these problems are self-inflicted and could be resolved if the DPRK had different priorities. But the fact is, there’s a percentage of the population that’s food-insecure….I did not ask to see the supreme leader. I assume from the discussions I had that they will be briefing their leadership on the content of our discussions. We’ve talked about the fact that we need to keep a dialogue going between the [UN] Secretariat and the DPRK. Q: Anything about stopping missile development?
A: I can’t characterize everything they said to us behind closed doors. They listened carefully, debated us, took careful notes. I’m hopeful that they’ll reflect our concerns accurately. Whether it was successful in persuading them to accept our suggestions, only time will tell." Inner City Press exclusively reported this on December 5, and after Guterres canceled his December 6 noon briefing for a stakeout at which he took no questions, asked for confirmation from UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq, who typically refused. See below, with two more names. Now the question arises: why did Feltman go? Or, why was it Feltman who went? See below. On December 12 in front of the UN Security Council, Resolution 1718 Sanctions committee chair Sebastiano Cardi of Italy recounted the previous day's committee meeting. Inner City Press asked him about Feltman's read-out about problems with procurement and funding gaps. Cardi indicated the Council would hear of that in a closed door brieifng by Feltman later in the day. Inner City Press exclusive video here. In the UN Security Council on December 11, with no advance notice from the UN, a meeting on North Korea human rights was held, preceded by a procedural vote: ten for holding the meeting,
three against (China, Russia and Bolivia) with
two abstaining: Ethiopia and Egypt, whose state media Akhbar al Yom favored by the UN and awarded Inner City Press' long time work space was again not present. The UN is becoming like... Then a meeting in Conference Room 1, interstitial Periscope here, during right the North Korean mission to the UN sent a statement to the Press referring to the the "non-existent" human rights issue. Attached here on Patreon. Finally, in the afternoon, a North Korea 1718 Sanctions Committee meeting. Inner City Press afterward asked outgoing chair Sebastiano Cardi about Feltman's read-out's reference to problems with "procurement" there; Cardi said he'd wait to hear from Feltman in the coming days. Video here. (Inner City Press hears: afternoon of December 12). Dutch Ambassador Karel van Oosterom was hanging around, leading Inner City Press to again surmise he's talking over the chair of the 1718 committee on Jan 1, something Cardi declined to confirm on camera. How open will Karel van Oosterom be? So far, not. Feltman has served more than five years, having been appointed to the UN under President Obama. Inner City Press reported that Feltman convinced Guterres to keep him on so that his UN pension could vest. Now, while Inner City Press sources tell Inner City Press of moves among some in the Trump administration to belatedly replace Feltman, he goes to North Korea. Is this to try to save his job, to become "indispensable"? Or is it the best way for the US, contemplating military action, to say diplomacy was tried, albeit with a lame duck? While most at the UN, spoon-fed by the reclusive Guterres, haven't hard these questions, others have, for example in South Korea where this article emphasizes Feltman's marginality, returning empty handed. But with Guterres selling himself first to Japan then on Wall Street, they believe the charade can continue. We'll have more on this. Because of today's UN secrecy, it was the North Korean government which issued a read-out of the meetings: "the visit of Jeffrey Feltman, the undersecretary general for political affairs at the U.N., helped the communist nation and U.N. understand each other deeply, and the two sides agreed to have regular communications at various levels, according to the Korean Central News Agency. KCNA reported that North Korea told U.N. officials that current situation on the Korean Peninsula is due to the United States' threat and its wish to launch a nuclear attack against North Korea first. The U.N. officials responded that they will help ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula by following the U.N. Charter, which states the organization's mission of maintaining international peace and security, the KCNA added. According to the KCNA, Feltman recognized international sanctions against North Korea are having a negative influence on humanitarian aid there. He visited a children's food factory and a hospital in Pyongyang on Thursday. Feltman was expected to leave Pyongyang on a North Korean Air Koryo passenger jet to land in Beijing on Saturday." Maybe Feltman will speak there, as he so rarely has in his more than five years at the UN. Hett has yet to speak. While SG Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric did not initially confirm Inner City Press noting in "his" UN Press Briefing room that Feltman's predecessor and Ban's brain Kim Won-soo visited DPRK in February 2010 and now some surmise why. The month after that visit described by both as this one should be as having been successful, North Korea sunk South Korea's Cheonan ship, killing 46. And this time? Guterres himself, typically, is avoiding the Press. But multiple sources tell Inner City Press Guterres doled out quotes to media from a major UN funder. This before he whispers again on December 15 in a Wall Street event he'll be sold for $1200 a table at. We'll have more on this. For now, Feltman has issued this read-out: "Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman visited the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) from 5 to 8 December 2017. Mr. Feltman had a series of meetings with H.E. Mr. RI Yong Ho, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and H.E. Mr. PAK Myong Guk, Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, of the DPRK. They exchanged views on the Korean Peninsula and agreed that the current situation was the most tense and dangerous peace and security issue in the world today. Mr. Feltman emphasized the need for the full implementation of all relevant Security Council resolutions.  He also said there can only be a diplomatic solution to the situation, achieved through a process of sincere dialogue. Time is of the essence.   Noting the urgent need to prevent miscalculations and open channels to reduce the risks of conflict, Mr. Feltman underlined that the international community, alarmed by escalating tensions, is committed to the achievement of a peaceful solution to the situation on the Korean Peninsula.  Mr. Feltman also met with the United Nations Country Team and members of the diplomatic corps, and visited UN project sites, including a children’s foodstuff factory, TB prevention institute, breast tumour institute, and paediatric hospital. During the site visits he learned about the UN’s life-saving work on the ground as well as the challenges in procurement and funding gaps." And on this: in advance of a December 11, 11:30 am North Korea human rights event announced by the US, it belatedly emerges that the UN Security Council is set to hold a procedural vote at 10 am for a human rights meeting in the Council. Inner City Press twice asked Japan's Koro Bessho, the Council's president for December, about this. The first time he said it was still being worked on. The second time, he walked away. And it was his deputy, not him, who appeared at the Council stakeout on the afternoon of December 8. Inner City Press asked a question and it was partially answered. But it was not Bessho. More on this - and on Feltman and his team's trip to North Korea. It is customary to at least disclose the identities of such a delegation. And so today Inner City Press names two others accompanying Feltman: unsurprisingly the UN Resident Coordinator in DPRK since 2015, Tapan Mishra formerly of Burma Shell Co, and surprising to some, Department of Political Affairs staffer Samuel Martell of the UK, in his position since October 2014. We'll have more on these, amid Guterres increasingly shrunk UN transparency. He banned the Press from his swearing-in of Global Communications boss Alison Smale; now he says that unlike even Ban Ki-moon, he will hold no end of the year press conference, while arranging to be sold on Wall Street for $1200 a table. This is today's UN. As to Hett, she was suggested to (or some say, planted with) Guterres by Feltman during the former's transition, and since then Hett has nearly always been at Guterres' side. For example she took an August 2017 photograph of Guterres with Palestine Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah published by the UN Department of Public Information. Inner City Press exclusively quoted DPA whistleblowers that Hett reported back to Feltman all of the people Guterres was interviewing to staff up his administration. (Guterres' spokesman called the questioning despicable.) Now Hett is in North Korea, with Feltman - and Guterres excluded the Press from his December 6 swearing-in of DPI's Alison Smale, here. Guterres is sure to hype up his wor on North Korea in connection with his December 13-14 trip to Japan. But what about Hett? To some, the UN is beginning to mirror Feltman and Hett's host. On December 7 (after the UN noon briefing was canceled on December 6 to a Guterres stakeout without any questions), Inner City Press asked Guterres' deputy spokesman Farhan Haq, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: "the meetings that Mr. Feltman's had in North Korea, but the Swedish ambassador today in front of the Security Council said that he has a report from Sweden's embassy there.  Has Feltman met with any of the remaining diplomatic corps in Pyongyang?  And also, can you say what the composition of his team is?  Is Katrin Hett on it, and if so, is she back with DPA [Department of Political Affairs], and who else is with him?  Usually people do readout who went to a place. Deputy Spokesman:  No.  We're not doing that at this stage.  Like I said, we're waiting until he's completed his visit to be able to provide some details.  And he does intend to brief both the Security Council and the press corps once he's back."  On December 7, Inner City Press asked Swedish Ambassador Olof Skoog when the Security Council will hear from Feltman about his visit. Skoog replied that he has a report from Sweden's embassy in North Korea - perhaps in his briefcase. Video here. Then after Japan's Koro Bessho told Inner City Press he was still working on a December 11 Security Council event on North Korea human rights, the US Mission announced a different December 11 event, 11:30 am in Conference Room 1: "On Monday, December 11, the Missions of the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and the United Kingdom will jointly host “North Korea Human Rights: The Terrifying Experiences of Forcibly Repatriated North Korean Women.” The event will feature testimony from a North Korean survivor, who will describe her ordeals and the chilling experiences she endured when repatriated multiple times to North Korea. Michael Kirby, former Justice of the Australian High Court and former Chair of the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the DPRK, and David Hawk, former Executive Director of Amnesty International and North Korea human rights expert and author of The Hidden Gulag, will also share their perspectives." Inner City Press sought clarification from Bessho later on December 7. We'll have more on this - and on this: not on the list is The Netherlands, which Inner City Press asked at the stakeout if the Dutch will automatically take over the North Korea sanctions committee on January 1. This is not the time for lack of transparency or selective doling out of information or access. After a lull, North Korea fired a ballistic missile on November 28. US President Trump was briefed while it was still in the air, his spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders said - making it a successful launch. On December 4 the UN announced that its outgoing head of Political Affairs, American diplomat Jeffrey Feltman, will travel to North Korea from December 5 to 8. UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said he couldn't remember so high level a UN visit; Inner City Press pointed him to Feltman's predecessor Lynn Pascoe's visit in February 2010 with Kim Won-soo. (Inner City Press coverage here, before Dujarric evicted Inner City Press for covering the UN's growing corruption.) After the briefing, Dujarric issued a note confirming the Pascoe (and Amos) trips. There is a cash (or Kash) for Kim echo Inner City Press will follow up on, for now this. But how long with Feltman even stay in this UN job he remained in for his pension to vest, having been appointed under Obama? On December 5, the UK deputy ambassador Allen said, "Mr. Feltman goes with our backing and I think he goes to represent the UN family as a whole. The SG, the Security Council is united on the DPRK, and I’m sure he will take that with him. He is a very experienced diplomat and I look forward to hearing from him when he comes back... This is a trip that’s been planned for a while. DPRK is not somewhere you jump on a plane to at short notice and hope for the best. He’s been planning this trip; it is one that he is taking and I don’t put any significance on the timing." Video here. We are still waiting for a response to our most recent email to the Mission to the UN of Japan, this month's outgoing UN Security Council President. Back on November 28 the UN Security Council had a previously scheduled 3 pm meeting about foreign terrorist fighters, and then one on North Korea at 4:30 pm on November 29. Now on November 30, Trump has spoken with South Korea's Moon
Jae-in and issued this: "President Donald J. Trump spoke today with President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea for the second time since North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile on November 28.  The two leaders discussed next steps to respond to this most recent provocation by North Korea, including how to bring maximum pressure to bear on the regime.  The presidents reiterated their strong commitment to enhancing the alliance’s deterrence and defense capabilities.  Both leaders reaffirmed their strong commitment to compelling North Korea to return to the path of denuclearization at any cost.  President Trump committed to sending a high-level delegation to the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics." On November 29, USg Jeff Feltman told the Council he met with North Korea's Ambassador and expressed the deep concern of Antonio Guterres. But he and Guterres this year accepted a Kim government nominee into Feltman's Department of Political Affairs. Photos here. Typically, at the end there was a whimper, Italy's Sebastiano Cardi bragging how his country paused DPRK diplomats and saying there would be no Council statement, it had all been public. And? At 3 pm, entering the prior Security Council meeting about Lebanon, the Council's president for November Sebastiano Cardi said that no written proposal for an outcome of the meeting has been circulated. French Ambassador Francois Delattre spoke again of tightening existing sanctions. Periscope video of both, and interstitial fill, here. In the morning he said, "On North Korea, the two key words are full implementation of the existing sanctions, and there is still some margin here, and tightening of the sanctions. So we are working along these lines." Earlier on November 29 US President Trump tweeted, "Just spoke to President XI JINPING of China concerning the provocative actions of North Korea. Additional major sanctions will be imposed on North Korea today. This situation will be handled!"  This gave rise to a question to UN Security Council president Sebastiano Cardi, who asked, "The President?" There was laughter. Inner City Press tweeted video here. Earlier still on November 29, the US White House announced that "President Donald J. Trump spoke today with President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China to discuss North Korea’s latest missile launch.  President Trump underscored the determination of the United States to defend ourselves and our allies from the growing threat posed by the North Korean regime. President Trump emphasized the need for China to use all available levers to convince North Korea to end its provocations and return to the path of denuclearization." At 12:30 pm Korean time (10:30 pm in New York), KCNA confirmed: ""Kim Jong Un, Supreme Leader of our Party, state and army, gave an autographic order to test-fire the newly developed inter-continental ballistic rocket Hwasong-15 on Nov. 28, Juche 106." Now, as to November 28, the Council's outgoing president Italy says, "we will meet again at 3 pm to hold closed consultations on 1701 report (Lebanon). USG Lacroix and Deputy Special Coordinator in Lebanon Philippe Lazzarini are the confirmed briefers in consultations. At the end of this meeting, we will move to the Open Chamber to discuss the issue of nuclear non-proliferation regime in relation to Democratic People's Republic of Korea. The briefers will be Under-Secretary General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman and Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi, as Chair of the Sanctions Committee 1718." So will the Netherlands take over that Committee when they assume Italy's Council seat on January 1? Feltman gave a speech on November 28 at CFR what was supposed to be live-streamed but apparently wasn't. It ends with a whimper. Trump spoke with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and issued this read out: "President Donald J. Trump spoke today with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan to address North Korea’s launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile that impacted within Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone.  The two leaders agreed that the North Korean regime’s provocative actions are undermining its security and further isolating it from the international community.  The leaders reaffirmed their commitment to combat the North Korean threat." There will be a meeting on North Korea on November 28. This, from the US Mission to the UN: "Ambassador Haley and her counterparts from Japan and the Republic of Korea have requested an emergency UN Security Council meeting to be held in the open chamber in response to North Korea’s latest test of an intercontinental ballistic missile. The Security Council session will be held tomorrow, Wednesday, November 29, around 4:30 p.m. EST." During the November 28 meeting on foreign fighters, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson issued this: "The United States strongly condemns North Korea’s launch of what is likely an intercontinental ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan, indiscriminately threatening its neighbors, the region and global stability. The DPRK’s relentless pursuit of nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them must be reversed.  Together the international community must continue to send a unified message to North Korea that the DPRK must abandon its WMD programs.  All nations must continue strong economic and diplomatic measures.  In addition to implementing all existing UN sanctions, the international community must take additional measures to enhance maritime security, including the right to interdict maritime traffic transporting goods to and from the DPRK. The United States, in partnership with Canada, will convene a meeting of the United Nations Command Sending States to include the Republic of Korea and Japan and other key affected countries to discuss how the global community can counter North Korea’s threat to international peace.  Diplomatic options remain viable and open, for now.  The United States remains committed to finding a peaceful path to denuclearization and to ending belligerent actions by North Korea." Amid talk of increased enforcement of sanctions on North Korea - including now U.S. President Trump putting the country back on the State Sponsors of Terrorism list -  the US Comptroller of the Currency has "rescued" a Japanese bank from a sanctions violation investigation, see below, including Inner City Press' scoop on no-notice. North Korea responded on November 22, verbally, putting on KCNA that “by re-listing DPRK as a ‘state sponsor of terrorism,’ the U.S. openly revealed to the whole world its intention to destroy our ideology and system by using all kinds of means and methods. Our army and people are full of rage and anger toward the heinous gangsters who dared to put the name of our sacred country in this wretched list of ‘terrorism’ and are hardening their will to settle all accounts with those gangsters at any time in any way." On November 21, the US sanctioned these: The following individual has been added to OFAC's SDN List:
SUN, Sidong, Liaoning, China; DOB 11 May 1976; POB Dandong, China; Gender Male; Passport G55296890 (China) issued 15 Sep 2011 expires 14 Sep 2021; National ID No. 210623197605112215 (individual) [DPRK4].
The following entities have been added to OFAC's SDN List:
DANDONG DONGYUAN INDUSTRIAL CO., LTD. (a.k.a. DANDONG DONGYUAN INDUSTRIAL CO.; a.k.a. DANDONG DONGYUAN INDUSTRY CO., LTD.), No. 34-7, Zhenba Street, Zhenxing District, Dandong 118001, China; Rm 3002 No 99 3 1 Binjiang Middle Rd, Zhenxing District, Dandong, China; D-U-N-S Number 542957624 [DPRK4].
DANDONG HONGDA TRADE CO. LTD., China; Room 301, No. 1 Building, Business & Tourist Section, Dandong, Liaoning, China [DPRK4].
DANDONG KEHUA ECONOMY & TRADE CO., LTD. (a.k.a. DANDONG KEHUA ECONOMIC AND TRADE CO. LTD.), China; Room 102, 1/F, Antai Garden, Zhenxing District, Dandong, Liaoning 118000, China [DPRK4].
DANDONG XIANGHE TRADING CO., LTD. (a.k.a. DANDONG XIANGHE TRADING CORPORATION; a.k.a. DANDONG XIANGHE TRADING LTD. CO; a.k.a. XIANGHE TRADE CO., LTD.), China; No. 603, 2F, Jiadi Square, Developing Zone, Dandong, Liaoning, China; Beida Rd., Pingxiang City, Chongzuo, Guangxi 532600, China; Room 703, No. 7 Building, Fangba, Yanjiang Development Zone, Dandong, China [DPRK4].
DAWN MARINE MANAGEMENT CO LTD, Changgyong 2-dong, Sosong-guyok, Pyongyang, Korea, North; Nationality of Registration Korea, North; Company Number 5926921 [DPRK4].
KOREA DAEBONG SHIPPING CO, Ansan 1-dong, Pyongchon-guyok, Pyongyang, Korea, North; Nationality of Registration Korea, North; Company Number 5145243 [DPRK4].
KOREA RUNGRADO RYONGAK TRADING CO, Pulgunkori 2-dong, Potonggang-guyok, Pyongyang, Korea, North; Nationality of Registration Korea, North; Company Number 5787653 [DPRK4].
KOREA RUNGRADO SHIPPING CO, Pulgunkori 1-dong, Potonggang-guyok, Pyongyang, Korea, North; Nationality of Registration Korea, North; Company Number 1414592 [DPRK4].
YUSONG SHIPPING CO, Uiam-dong, Taedonggang-guyok, Pyongyang, Korea, North; Nationality of Registration Korea, North; Company Number 5146578 [DPRK4].
The following vessels have been added to OFAC's SDN List:
7-28 Democratic People's Republic of Korea flag; Vessel Registration Identification IMO 8898831 (vessel) [DPRK4] (Linked To: YUSONG SHIPPING CO).
JANG GYONG Democratic People's Republic of Korea flag; Vessel Registration Identification IMO 8203933 (vessel) [DPRK4] (Linked To: DAWN MARINE MANAGEMENT CO LTD).
KANG SONG 1 Democratic People's Republic of Korea flag; Vessel Registration Identification IMO 6908096 (vessel) [DPRK4] (Linked To: KOREA KUMBYOL TRADING COMPANY).
KU BONG RYONG Democratic People's Republic of Korea flag; Vessel Registration Identification IMO 8983404 (vessel) [DPRK4] (Linked To: KOREA KUMBYOL TRADING COMPANY).
KUM SONG 3 Democratic People's Republic of Korea flag; Vessel Registration Identification IMO 8661850 (vessel) [DPRK4] (Linked To: DAWN MARINE MANAGEMENT CO LTD).
KUM SONG 5 Democratic People's Republic of Korea flag; Vessel Registration Identification IMO 8661719 (vessel) [DPRK4] (Linked To: DAWN MARINE MANAGEMENT CO LTD).
KUM SONG 7 Democratic People's Republic of Korea flag; Vessel Registration Identification IMO 8739396 (vessel) [DPRK4] (Linked To: DAWN MARINE MANAGEMENT CO LTD).
KUM UN SAN 3 Democratic People's Republic of Korea flag; Vessel Registration Identification IMO 8705539 (vessel) [DPRK4] (Linked To: DAWN MARINE MANAGEMENT CO LTD).
PU HUNG 1 Democratic People's Republic of Korea flag; Vessel Registration Identification IMO 8703933 (vessel) [DPRK4] (Linked To: KOREA RUNGRADO SHIPPING CO).
RAK RANG Democratic People's Republic of Korea flag; Vessel Registration Identification IMO 7506118 (vessel) [DPRK4] (Linked To: KOREA DAEBONG SHIPPING CO).
RUNG RA 1 Democratic People's Republic of Korea flag; Vessel Registration Identification IMO 8713457 (vessel) [DPRK4] (Linked To: KOREA RUNGRADO RYONGAK TRADING CO).
RUNG RA 2 Democratic People's Republic of Korea flag; Vessel Registration Identification IMO 9020534 (vessel) [DPRK4] (Linked To: KOREA RUNGRADO RYONGAK TRADING CO).
RUNG RA DO Democratic People's Republic of Korea flag; Vessel Registration Identification IMO 8989795 (vessel) [DPRK4] (Linked To: KOREA RUNGRADO SHIPPING CO).
RYE SONG GANG 1 Democratic People's Republic of Korea flag; Vessel Registration Identification IMO 7389704 (vessel) [DPRK4] (Linked To: KOREA KUMBYOL TRADING COMPANY).
SO BAEK SAN Democratic People's Republic of Korea flag; Vessel Registration Identification IMO 8658267 (vessel) [DPRK4] (Linked To: KOREA KUMBYOL TRADING COMPANY).
WON SAN 2 Democratic People's Republic of Korea flag; Vessel Registration Identification IMO 9159787 (vessel) [DPRK4] (Linked To: YUSONG SHIPPING CO).
YANG GAK DO Democratic People's Republic of Korea flag; Vessel Registration Identification IMO 6401828 (vessel) [DPRK4] (Linked To: KOREA RUNGRADO SHIPPING CO).
YU SONG 12 Democratic People's Republic of Korea flag; Vessel Registration Identification IMO 9096791 (vessel) [DPRK4] (Linked To: YUSONG SHIPPING CO).
YU SONG 7 Democratic People's Republic of Korea flag; Vessel Registration Identification IMO 8400854 (vessel) [DPRK4] (Linked To: YUSONG SHIPPING CO).
ZA RYOK 2 Democratic People's Republic of Korea flag; Vessel Registration Identification IMO 8898738 (vessel) [DPRK4] (Linked To: YUSONG SHIPPING CO).
The following deletions have been made to OFAC's SDN List:
QASEM, Talat Fouad; DOB 02 Jun 1957; alt. DOB 03 Jun 1957; POB Al Mina, Egypt; Propaganda Leader of ISLAMIC GAMA'AT (individual) [SDT].

Trump on November 20 said, "Today, the United States is designating North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism.  It should have happened a long time ago.  It should have happened years ago. In addition to threatening the world by nuclear devastation, North Korea has repeatedly supported acts of international terrorism, including assassinations on foreign soil. As we take this action today, our thoughts to turn to Otto Warmbier, a wonderful young man, and the countless others so brutally affected by the North Korean oppression.  This designation will impose further sanctions and penalties on North Korea and related persons, and supports our maximum pressure campaign to isolate the murderous regime that you've all been reading about and, in some cases, writing about. Tomorrow, the Treasury Department will be announcing an additional sanction, and a very large one, on North Korea.  This will be going on over the next two weeks.  It will be the highest level of sanctions by the time it's finished over a two-week period. The North Korean regime must be lawful.  It must end its unlawful nuclear and ballistic missile development, and cease all support for international terrorism -- which it is not doing." Inner City Press then asked UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq if this meant the UN's World Property Organization would stop helping North Korea with cyanide patents. It's just a US thing, he said. So's this: a November 13 letter from the New York State Department of Financial Services cites Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi for “continuing compliance failures in Hong Kong, which has a 'repeat transaction' program for certain high risk clients in Chinese cities bordering North Korea. The repeat transaction program results in not more but less scrutiny of these clients transactions.” The NYSDFS letter also notes that BTMU has processed transaction through its New York branch for “Burmese parties” on the OFAC sanctions list. How did Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi react to the New York regulator's investigation of these issues? It applied on October 30 to switch to the more lax Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and had its application approved in a mere week, then threw the state regulators out of its New York branch on Sixth Avenue. All this just a few blocks from the United Nations whose Security Council, on which Japan has a seat until the end of the year, has imposed rounds of sanctions on North Korea for its nuclear weapons program, and was set to vote for a new UN Special Envoy on Myanmar, or Burma, on November 16. What's going on? Now Inner City Press can exclusively report a further outrage, not included in the NYSDFS letter nor a Wall Street Journal article which quoted it. The OCC gave its approval in a week even while belatedly listing Bank of Tokyo - Mitsubishi's filings under "THESE APPLICATIONS APPEARED INCORRECTLY IN A PRIOR WEEKLY BULLETIN." Photo here; link to Bulletin here. The public, as is the trend under the OCC, was cut out. The face savings compliance agreement, here, does not cure or address this.
The OCC is lax not only in sanctions compliance and absurdly short comment periods on corporate applications - it also markets itself to banks as being “flexible” on other compliance issues including the U.S. Community Reinvestment Act. Recently the OCC announced that even a rare less than satisfactory CRA rating would not bar approval of a bank's application, click here for that Inner City Press coverage. A new Comptroller, Joseph Otting formerly of OneWest Bank, is set to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate this week, even while the OCC has refused to answer a pending Press (and CRC) request under the Freedom of Information Act. A lawsuit has now been filed. What will a FOIA request into the OCC's communications with Bank of Tokyo - Mitsubishi yield? Watch this site.


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