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Australia announces sanctions against North Korean arms supply to Russia

HMAS Warramunga conducts a maritime patrol in support of Operation ARGOS. Photo: POIS Yuri Ramsey

The Australian government has announced targeted financial sanctions against six entities associated with North Korea’s supply of arms and related materiel to Russia.

The Australian government has announced targeted financial sanctions against six entities associated with North Korea’s supply of arms and related materiel to Russia.

The targeted sanctions, imposed in coordination with international partners, were originally announced on 17 May.

“Australia condemns, in the strongest possible terms, North Korea’s illegal export and Russia’s procurement and use of North Korean ballistic missiles, in support of Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine,” Minister for Foreign Affairs Senator Penny Wong said.


“The continued transfer of weapons from North Korea to Russia is a flagrant violation of multiple United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.

“The use of North Korean ballistic missiles by Russia increases the suffering of the Ukrainian people, supports Russia’s illegal and immoral war of aggression and undermines the global non-proliferation regime.

“Deepening North Korea–Russia cooperation is providing technical and military insights to North Korea, with grave security implications for Europe, the Korean Peninsula, and across the Indo-Pacific region.”

Australia will continue to work with our allies and partners to hold Russia and North Korea to account, and address the security threat posed by North Korea, according to the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

The Royal Australian Navy already undertakes patrols as part of the international effort to enforce UN Security Council sanctions on North Korea as part of Operation Argos.

Under those actions, RAN ships monitor and deter North Korea’s illegal ship-to-ship transfers of sanctioned goods. The multinational force includes Canada, France, Japan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

“North Korea must comply fully with UNSC resolutions to abandon its unlawful weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner,” Senator Wong said.

“All countries should abide by their UNSC obligations in response to North Korea’s violations.

“Together with our partners, we call on North Korea to engage in constructive dialogue and move toward permanent peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

“Australia remains steadfast in supporting Ukraine to defend itself. Today’s announcement underscores that those who provide material support to Russia’s illegal and immoral war will face consequences.”

Earlier this year, North Korea’s Foreign Ministry issued a warning to the United States of America, US allies, and Australia regarding alleged “military interference in the Asia-Pacific region”.

“The US allies have recently made their military interference in the Asia-Pacific region undisguised under the pretext of monitoring violation of UN sanctions,” a foreign ministry spokesperson said.

“In particular, an Australian warship, dispatched to the waters around the Korean peninsula, let a military helicopter go into action and threaten the maritime and air security of a surrounding country, thus creating possibility of a dangerous armed conflict.

“Such military intervention, conducted by the above-said countries under the pretext of implementing the so-called UN Security Council ‘resolution’ and abiding by international laws, is contrary to the purpose and principle of the UN Charter.

“The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea will take necessary measures to firmly defend the sovereignty and security of the state on the basis of a rigorous analysis of the negative influence being caused by the grave acts of some countries including Canada, Australia, UK, Germany and France taking part in the so-called ‘activities of monitoring sanctions against the DPRK’.”

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