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Humanitarian aid to North Korea

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By Troy Stangarone

In the most recent report by the U.N. Panel of Experts (UNPE), the 1718 Committee documented the increasing number of ways that North Korea continues to evade U.N. sanctions. However, the report also discusses the unintended consequences of sanctions, one of which is the impact on humanitarian assistance in North Korea.

Aid groups looking to engage in humanitarian activities in North Korea have faced difficulties as the sanctions on the North have increased over the last two years, despite a move by the U.N. to provide exemptions for these.

According to the UNPE, they have faced challenges from the deliberative nature of receiving exemptions from sanctions, delays at customs, a disruption of banking channels, a decline in suppliers willing to provide materials, increases in prices, and reductions in available funds.

Some of these issues are perhaps inevitable. While the report notes some entities still unwittingly work with North Korea, the increased scrutiny of transactions with Pyongyang will inevitably lead to longer times to clear customs as exports are inspected and a decreasing number of suppliers willing to do business related to the North.

At the same time, some of the challenges from........

© The Korea Times