On 1 September, 38 North said that UN sanctions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) prohibits UN Member States from trading small arms and light weapons (SALW) with North Korea. It goes on to say that open-source information analysis that uses a statistical trade database suggests that the UN arms embargo on North Korea is having the intended impact in general. However, it says, recent trends deserve attention from the international community, such as closely watching North Korea’s exports of SALW to countries that are striving for human security and political stability, and the reexport of SALW to North Korea by a UN member state via the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). The article provides a summary of the trends in North Korea’s SALW trading activities between 2009 and 2021 and discusses the potential impact of these imports and exports on international peace and security. It also offers policy recommendations for how to improve sanctions implementation in this area.
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