On September 23, 2017, President Trump issued a new Executive Order which imposed additional sanctions on North Korea. The reason for this has been the recent actions of the North Korean Government in Asia that has threatened the security of the United States and its allies. The US wants to target the weapons program, as well as the North Korean economy, to block off financial transactions and the shipping of goods and services to North Korea. To learn more about the recent updates on North Korea sanctions, speak with an experienced OFAC lawyer as soon as possible.

The Executive Order looked similar to what was seen at the height of the Iran Sanctions Program and includes many of the same sanctions all at once, particularly the secondary sanction which would authorize the Secretary of Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to impose sanctions on anyone who is found to conduct any transaction with North Korean entities.

What Does the Executive Order Target?

Recent updates on North Korea sanctions from the Executive Order targets the foreign country’s shipping network and executes a 180-day ban on vessels and aircrafts visiting North Korea from the United States. Financial institutions now have to be wary of conducting or facilitating any significant transactions on behalf of certain designated individuals and entities, and the Secretary of Treasury can block any funds originating from this and routing to accounts related to North Korea that comes within the US, or in the possession of a US person. Financial institutions must decide whether they want to facilitate transactions for North Korea and its supporters or the United States.

Understanding General Licenses

There are still General Licenses under the North Korea Sanctions Program, and OFAC is currently working on updating General License 3-A and General License 10. These General Licenses allow and authorize certain activity without obtaining a Specific License in relation to North Korea and North Korean persons. These General Licenses are:

  • General 1-A – North Korean Mission to the United Nations and Employees of the United Nations.
  • General License 2 – Provision of Certain Legal Services Authorized.
  • General License 3-A – Entry in Certain Accounts for Normal Services Charges Authorized.
  • General License 4 – Non-Commercial Personal Remittance Authorized.
  • General License 5 – Certain Services in Support of Non-Governmental Organization Activities Authorized.
  • General License 6 – Third-Country Diplomatic and Consular Fund Transfers.
  • General License 7 – Transactions Related to Telecommunication and Mail Authorized.
  • General License 8 – Certain Transactions Related to Patents, Trademarks and Copyrights Authorized.
  • General License 9 – Emergency Medical Services Authorized.
  • General License 10 – Docking of Certain Vessels and Landing of Certain Aircraft Authorized.

Pursuing Transactions with North Korea

It is very important, particularly in these times ahead, with the implementation of the new Executive Order, to be incredibly wary of any North Korean entity or person and any potential service that could be provided to a North Korean must be screened to ensure that these goods and services will not have end-users in North Korea unless the purpose and the conduct of the service or transaction specifically and neatly falls under one of the General Licenses that is listed above. A knowledgeable sanctions attorney should be consulted on any business or any transaction relating to recent updates on North Korea sanctions.