Singapore suspends trade ties with North Korea

Singapore has suspended all trade with North Korea, a customs notice showed, as the UN and US seek ever tougher measures against the state.

Singapore customs said commercially traded goods from or to North were banned from 8 November. Offenders may be fined or jailed for up to two years.

It comes as UN sanctions were imposed after North Korea’s sixth nuclear test.

Singapore was its eighth biggest trading partner in 2016, but that only made up 0.2% of the North’s trade.

The vast majority of North Korea’s trade is conducted with China, Pyongyang’s biggest economic supporter.

The latest round of UN sanctions targeted several firms and individuals, including two businesses in Singapore.

In January 2016, a Singapore firm was fined $125,700 for facilitating a shipment of arms from Cuba to North Korea after a court found the Chinpo shipping company was in breach of the UN sanctions on North Korea.

Tension in the Korean peninsula reached unprecedented levels earlier this year after Pyongyang’s repeated missile tests, including two long range missiles that flew over Japan, and its sixth and biggest nuclear test.

The US and the UN are hoping that sanctions will starve the North of the means to pursue its aggressive programme of weapons development.

Singapore still retains diplomatic ties and Pyongyang maintains an embassy in its financial district.

Under Regulation 6(1b) of the Regulation of Imports and Exports

Regulations, the importation into, exportation from, and transshipment or transit through Singapore of any commercially traded goods and non commercial goods which will contravene the decisions of the UNSC in resolutions made under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter are prohibited.

  1. Any person who contravenes any of these prohibitions shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable to
  2. a) A fine of not exceeding S$100,000 or 3 times the value of the goods in respect of which the offence was committed, whichever is the greater, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or to both, on the first conviction and, b) a fine of not exceeding S$200,000 or 4 times the value of the goods in respect of which the offence was committed, whichever is the greater, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years or to both, on the second or subsequent conviction.

 

  

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