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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release September 17, 1999


Easing Sanctions Against North Korea

Today the President announced his decision to ease some sanctions against the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (North Korea), administered under the Trading With the Enemy Act, Defense Production Act, and the Department of Commerce's Export Administration Regulations.

The United States is taking this action in order to pursue improved overall relations with North Korea, support the Agreed Framework, and as a result of U.S.-North Korean discussions in Berlin September 7-12, 1999. On the basis of these discussions, it is our understanding that North Korea will continue to refrain from testing long-range missiles of any kind as both sides move toward more normal relations.

The easing of sanctions will allow most consumer goods to be available for export to North Korea and will allow the importation of most North Korean-origin goods into the United States. To support this easing of sanctions in the trade of goods, most personal and commercial funds transfers will be allowed between U.S. and North Korean persons. The relaxation of transportation restrictions will allow commercial air and sea transportation between the U.S. and North Korea for passengers and cargo, subject to normal regulatory requirements.

This easing of sanctions does not affect our counterterrorism or nonproliferation controls on North Korea, which prohibit exports of military and sensitive dual-use items and most types of U.S. assistance. Statutory restrictions, such as U.S. missile sanctions, will remain in place. Restrictions on North Korea based on multilateral arrangements also will remain in place, such as the Wassenaar Arrangement.

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