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Hiroshima for Global Peace


A) Establishment and implementation of national control systems

On establishing and implementing national control systems regarding export controls on nuclear-related items and technologies, there were few remarkable developments in 2017. As described in the previous Hiroshima Report, the following countries surveyed in this Report belong to the four international export control regimes,55 including the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), have national implemented effective export controls regarding nuclear- (and other WMD- ) related items and technologies through list and catch-all controls: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany Japan, South Korea, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

These countries have also proactively made efforts to strengthen export controls. For example, Japan held the 24th Asian Export Control Seminar in February 2017. The purpose of this annual seminar is to “assist export control officers in Asian countries and regions.” Persons in charge of export control from Asian and other regional major countries participated in the seminar.

Among other countries surveyed in this project, Brazil, China, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa and Turkey are members of the NSG. These countries have set up export control system, including catch-all controls.

As for non-NSG members, the UAE is one of the few countries that have enacted comprehensive strategic trade control legislation, including a provision on catch-all controls. However, analysts have assessed that the UAE “lack[s] the necessary expertise, and possibly the financial resources, to institute an effective [export control] system.”56 The Philippines, enacting a Strategic Trade Management Act (STMA) in November 2015, introduced list control and catch-all control. On the other hand, Egypt, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia have yet to established sufficient export control legislations and systems.

India, Israel and Pakistan have also set up national export control systems, including catch-all controls.57 India’s quest for membership in the NSG is supported by some member states, but consensus on matter was not reached in 2017.

At the time of writing, the status of export control implementation by North Korea, Iran and Syria is not clear. Rather, cooperation among these countries in ballistic missile development remains a concern, as mentioned below. In addition, North Korea was involved in the past in constructing a graphite-moderated reactor in Syria to produce plutonium.

A U.S. think tank pointed out that among the 122 countries voting in favor of adopting the Treaty on the prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), only 29 (or 24 percent) have adequate export control legislation.58

B) Requiring the conclusion of the Additional Protocol for nuclear export

Article III-2 of the NPT stipulates, “Each State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to provide: (a) source or special fissionable material, or (b) equipment or material especially designed or prepared for the processing, use of production of special fissionable material, to any non-nuclear-weapon State for peaceful purposes, unless the source or special fissionable material shall be subject to the safeguards, required by this Article.” In the Final Document of the 2010 NPT RevCon, “[t]he Conference encourage[d] State parties to make use of multilaterally negotiated and agreed guidelines and understandings in developing their own national export controls” (Action36). Under the NSG Guidelines Part I, one of the conditions for supplying materials and technology designed specifically for nuclear use is to accept the IAEA comprehensive safeguards. In addition, NSG member states agreed on the following principle in June 2013:59

Suppliers will make special efforts in support of effective implementation of IAEA safeguards for enrichment or reprocessing facilities, equipment or technology and should, consistent with paragraphs 4 and 14 of the Guidelines, ensure their peaceful nature. In this regard suppliers should authorize transfers, pursuant to this paragraph, only when the recipient has brought into force a Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement, and an Additional Protocol based on the Model Additional Protocol, or, pending this, is implementing appropriate safeguards agreements in cooperation with the IAEA, including a regional accounting and control arrangement for nuclear materials, as approved by the IAEA Board of Governor.

The NPDI and the Vienna Group of Ten have argued that conclusion and implementation of the CSA and the Additional Protocol should be a condition for new supply arrangements with NNWS.60 Some of the bilateral nuclear cooperation agreements that Japan and the United States concluded recently with other capitals make the conclusion of the Additional Protocol a prerequisite for their cooperation with respective partner states. On the other hand, the NAM countries continue to argue that supplier countries should “refrain from imposing or maintaining any restriction or limitation on the transfer of nuclear equipment, material and technology to other States parties with comprehensive safeguards agreements.”61


Enriching uranium and reprocessing spent fuel by NNWS is not prohibited under the NPT if the purpose is strictly peaceful and the activities are under IAEA safeguards, Yet they are highly sensitive activities in light of nuclear proliferation. The spread of enrichment and reprocessing (E&R) technologies would mean that more countries would acquire the potential for manufacturing nuclear weapons. As mentioned above, NSG guidelines make implementation of the Additional Protocol by the recipient state a condition for transfer of enrichment or reprocessing facilities, equipment or technology.

While the U.S.-UAE and U.S.-Taiwan Nuclear Cooperation Agreements stipulate a so-called “gold standard”—the recipients are obliged to forgo enrichment and reprocessing activities—other bilateral agreements concluded and updated by the United States, such as one with Vietnam in 2014, do not stipulate similar obligations. Relatedly, under the updated U.S.-South Korean Nuclear Cooperation Agreement signed in July 2015, the United States does not give advance consent to enrich or reprocess U.S.-origin fuel while both countries agreed to continue joint research on pyroprocessing—which South Korea sought to promote—under their consultation and agreement. The Japan-U.S. Nuclear Cooperation

Agreement, which stipulates comprehensive prior consent to Japan’s E&R activities, and is to expire in July 2018, will be automatically extended since neither sides notified an intention to terminate or re-negotiate the agreement by January 2018, six months prior to its expiration.

C) Implementation of the UNSCRs concerning North Korean and Iranian nuclear issues

With regard to the North Korean nuclear issue, the UN Member States are obliged to implement measures set out in the resolutions adopted by the UN Security Council, including embargos on nuclear-, other WMD-, and ballistic missile-related items, material and technologies. The Panel of Experts, established pursuant to UNSCR 1874 (2009), published annual reports on their findings and recommendations about the implementation of the resolutions. As for the Iranian nuclear issue, the Iran Sanctions Committee and Panel of Experts ceased to exist after the conclusion of the JCPOA, at the insistence of Iran, and the UN Security Council now has responsibility of oversight of remaining limitations.62


The Security Council has adopted numerous resolutions criticizing North Korean nuclear and missile activities. In 2017, in response to the North’s repeated ballistic missile tests, UNSCR 2356 was unanimously adopted on June 2. Under this resolution, Security Council “[c]ondemn[ed] in the strongest terms the nuclear weapons and ballistic missile development activities including a series of ballistic missile launches and other activities conducted by the DPRK since 9 September 2016 in violation and flagrant disregard of the Security Council’s resolutions,” and decided on four entities and 14 individuals being subject to a travel ban and/or asset freeze.63 Subsequently, after the North’s ICBM launch, UNSCR 2371 was unanimously adopted on August 5, which stipulates the following sanction measures, inter alia:64

  • Adding nine individuals and four entities being subject to travel ban and/or asset freeze;
  • Prohibiting North Korea from supplying, selling or transferring coal, iron, iron ore, seafood, lead and lead ore, and prohibiting other countries from procuring these items from the North;
  • Prohibiting states from newly accepting North Korean overseas workers; and
  • Prohibiting the opening of new joint ventures or cooperative entities with the North’s entities or individuals, or the expansion of existing joint ventures through additional investments

In addition, nine days after North Korea’s sixth nuclear test on September 3, the Security Council unanimously adopted UNSCR 2375, which stipulated the following sanction measures;

  • Adding one individual and tree entities being subject to  travel ban and/or asset freeze;
  • Designating additional items, materials, technologies and so on for export controls regarding WMD and conventional weapons;
  • Requesting states to inspect vessels with the consent of the flag State, on the high seas, if they have information that provides reasonable grounds to believe that the cargo of such vessels contains items the supply, sales, transfer or export of which is prohibited by resolutions;
  • Restricting to supply, sell or transfer crude oil and refined petroleum products to North Korea;
  • Prohibiting from supplying, selling or transferring condensates and natural gas liquids to North Korea;
  • Prohibiting states from providing work authorizations for North Korean nationals; and
  • Prohibiting the opening, maintenance and operation of joint ventures or cooperative entities with North Korea, and requiring the closing of existing joint ventures and cooperative entities.

Furthermore, after the North’s ICBM test in November, UNSCR 2397 was unanimously adopted on December 22, which stipulated the following additional sanction measures;

  • Restricting exports of crude oil to North Korea, not exceeding 4 million barrels per year, and requesting provider countries to report such exports;
  • Restring exports of refined petroleum products to North Korea, in the aggregate amount of up to 500,000 barrels per year, and requesting provider countries to report such exports;
  • Prohibiting UN member states from supplying, selling or transferring food and agricultural products machinery, electrical equipment, earth and stone including magnesite and magnesia, wood, and vessels;
  • Repatriating to North Korea all its nationals earning income in that Member State’s jurisdiction and all the North’s government safety oversight attachés monitoring DPRK workers abroadimmediately but no later than 24 months from the date of adoption of this resolution;
  • Implementing more strictly measures on maritime transportations; and
  • Considering further measures on restricting a provision of petroleum if North Korea conduct a further test of nuclear weapons and ICBMclass missiles.

The annual Report of the Panel Experts published in February 2017 pointed out North Korea’s activities in defiance of the UNSCRs, such as:65

  • North Korea is flouting sanctions through trade in prohibited goods, with evasion techniques that are increasing in scale, scope and sophistication;
  • Designated entities and banks have continued to operate in the sanctioned environment by using agents who are highly experienced and well trained in moving money, people and goods, including arms and related materiel, across borders. These agents use non-nationals of North Korea as facilitators, and rely on numerous front companies;
  • Diplomats, missions and trade representatives of the North systematically play key role in prohibited sales, procurement, finance and logistics; and
  • North Korea continues to export banned minerals to generate revenue.

The Panel also noted in its mid-term report in September 2017 the following activities:66

  • North Korea continues to violate the financial sanctions by stationing agents abroad to execute financial transactions on behalf of national entities;
  • North Korea continued to violate sectoral sanctions through the export of almost all of the commodities prohibited in the resolutions; and
  • North Korea provided weapons and trainings to African countries’ militaries and police.

Although the whole picture of such illegal activities by North Korea has not been elucidated, it has alleged to have engaged in various activities, including earning foreign currency to support nuclear weapons development by utilizing foreign networks. Some news articles highlighted the following alleged cases:

  • North Korea has been switching the export destinations of coal subject to sanctions under the UNSCRs from China to Southeast Asian countries.67
  • At least eight North Korean ships that left Russia with a cargo of fuel this year headed for their homeland despite declaring other destinations. Reuters has no evidence of wrongdoing by the vessels, whose movements were recorded in Reuters ship-tracking data… [but] changing destination mid-voyage is a hallmark of North Korean state tactics to circumvent the international trade sanctions imposed over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program.68
  • In December, Australian Federal Police arrested a Korean-Australian individual who was charged with acting as an agent for North Korea by allegedly attempting to broker sales for Pyongyang including ballistic missiles, and their items and technologies.69

Regarding sanctions against North Korea, China’s behavior has been drawing attention because of its close relationship with North Korea. China announced its implementation and reinforcement of sanctions. For example, in January 2017, China’s Commerce Ministry announced more than 100 additional items, equipment and technologies for nuclear and missile development, which are subject to prohibited for export to North Korea in accordance with the UNSCRs. In February, the Commerce Ministry also announced that China would suspend all imports of coal from the North through the end of 2017.

However, China has also been criticized for weak enforcement efforts.70 In 2017, the following cases, for instance, were reported:

  • China “has purchased greater quantities of iron ore, low-end manufactured goods, and seafood…resulting in an overall increase in trade revenue for North Korea compared to 2016.”71
  • Chinese clothing companies sent fabrics and other materials to North Korea, to make clothing labeled “Made in China,” and obtained and exported such commodities. North Korean garment industry records sales of more than $500 million in 2016.72
  • United States prosecutors accused a Chinese company, Mingzheng International Trading Limited (operated as a front company for North Korea’s state-run Foreign Trade Bank), of laundering money for North Korea and said they would seek $1.9 million in civil penalties.73
  • South Korean officials revealed in late December that the government had inspected and seized a Hong Kong-flagged vessel, which was alleged to transfer 600 tons of refined petroleum products to a North Korean ship in international waters.74 In addition, it was reported in late December that U.S. reconnaissance satellites have spotted Chinese ships selling oil to North Korean vessels on the West Sea around 30 times since October 2017.75

In addition to sanctions under the UNSCRs, some countries impose respective unilateral sanctions against North Korea. For example, Japan, South Korea and the United States have expanded their respective lists of entities and individuals subject to a travel ban and/or asset freeze over their involvement in the North’s nuclear and missile developments. The lists include not just North Korean but also Chinese and Russian entities and individuals. The EU also decided to impose unilateral sanctions in October 2017, including total bans on the export of petroleum and investment to North Korea. In November, the United States announced redesignation of the North as a state sponsor of terror, which had been removed in 2008 in exchange for progress in denuclearization talks. Furthermore, particularly after the nuclear test in September 2017, several countries reduced foreign and economic relationships with North Korea. The Philippines announced suspension of trade with North Korea, and Egypt cut off military cooperation with North Korea (after the US reduced aid because of that military trade). In October, the UAE stated that it would cease approval of visas to North Korean nationals and licenses to the North’s entities. In addition, some African countries announced a cut-off of military and/or trade relations with North Korea.

Each UN member state is requested to report to the Security Council on the measures taken for implementing UNSCRs. According to the Report of the Panel of Experts in September 2017, 78 countries submitted their national implementation reports on the UNSCR 2321. The submission rate has been steadily increasing although it is still limited,.76 Among countries surveyed in the Hiroshima Report, Austria, Iran, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Norway, the Philippines and Syria did not submit their respective reports.77


In accordance with the JCPOA, approval of the Procurement Working Group, establishment under the agreement, is required for Iranian procurement of nuclear-related items and material. From the implementation day of the JCPOA through mid-June 2017, the Procurement Working Group received 16 procurement proposals.78 Regarding procurement of dual-use items and technologies under the NSG Guidelines Part II: during January through June 2017, among 10 new proposals submitted, five of them were approved, one was withdrawn and four were under review;79 and during July through December 2017, among eight new proposals submitted, four of them were approved, two were rejected and two were withdrawn.80


In addition to the (reported) illicit activities mentioned above, it is often alleged that North Korea and Iran have been engaged in nuclear and missile development cooperation. Bilateral cooperation has been well documented in the area of missiles. In 2016, the United States imposed sanctions against such cooperation.81 However, no concrete evidence has been revealed to support allegations of nuclearrelated cooperation.82

Meanwhile, it was assessed that the engines of North Korea’s Hwasong-12 IRBM and Hwasong-14 ICBM are likely RD250s that were developed by the Soviet for the SS-18 ICBM, and may have been transferred to North Korea by entities in Russia or Ukraine. Both countries denied the allegation.83

D) Participation in the PSI

As of 2017, a total of 105 countries—including 21 member states of the Operational Expert Group (Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Russia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and others) as well as Belgium, Chile, Israel, Kazakhstan, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Sweden, the UAE and others—have expressed their support for the principles and objectives of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI). Many of them have participated and cooperated in PSI-related activities.84

The interdiction activities actually carried out within the framework of the PSI are often based on information provided by intelligence agencies; therefore, most of them are classified. However, several cases were reported of interdictions involving shipments of WMD-related material to North Korea and Iran. Additionally, participating states have endorsed the PSI statement of interdiction principles and endeavored to reinforce their capabilities for interdicting WMD through exercises and outreach activities. In September 2017, Australia hosted an interdiction exercise, named “Pacific Protector 17,” in which 21 countries participated.85

E) Civil nuclear cooperation with non-parties to the NPT

In September 2008, the NSG agreed to grant India a waiver, allowing nuclear trade with the state. Since then, some countries have sought to engage in civil nuclear cooperation with India, and several countries, including Australia, Canada, France, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Russia and the United States, have concluded bilateral civil nuclear cooperation agreements with India. In June 2017, Japan ratified the Japan-India Nuclear Cooperation Agreement signed in November 2016.86 Prior to its ratification, Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense, Japan’s House of Councillors adopted the resolution, in which it requested the Japanese government to terminate the Agreement when India conducted a subcritical test.

Actual nuclear cooperation with India has not necessarily been concluded,87 except India’s receipt of uranium from France, Kazakhstan and Russia, and its conclusion of agreements to receive uranium from Argentina, Australia, Canada, Mongolia and Namibia.88

Again in 2017, the NSG could not achieve consensus on India’s membership application. China, the main opponent, has argued that applicant countries must be parties to the NPT. It is also reported that China will not accept India’s participation in the NSG unless Pakistan is also accepted as a member.89 Pakistan has argued that, as a state behaving responsibly regarding nuclear safety and security, it is qualified to be accepted as an NSG member. The NSG has considered a draft set of nine criteria to guide membership applications from states that are not party to the NPT. Items of condition written in a draft document in December 2016 included safeguards, moratorium on nuclear testing, and support of multilateral non-proliferation and disarmament regime.90

Meanwhile, China has been criticized for its April 2010 agreement to export two nuclear power reactors to Pakistan, which may constitute a violation of the NSG guidelines. China has claimed an exemption for this transaction under the “grandfather clause” of the NSG guidelines (i.e. it was not applicable as China became an NSG participant after the start of negotiations on the supply of the reactors). China will also supply enriched uranium to Pakistan for running those reactors.91 Their construction started in November 2013 in Karachi. Because all other Chinese reactors that were claimed to be excluded from NSG guidelines under the grandfather clause were built at Chashma, there is a question about whether the exemption can also apply to the Karachi plant.92

The NAM countries have been critical of civil nuclear cooperation with non-NPT states, including India and Pakistan, and continue to argue that exporting states should refrain from transferring nuclear material and technologies to those states which do not accept IAEA comprehensive safeguards.93

[55] Aside from the NSG, Australia Group (AG), Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), and Wassenaar Arrangement (WA).

[56] “Middle East and North Africa 1540 Reporting,” Nuclear Threat Initiative, January 31, 2014, analysis/reports/middle-east-and-north-africa-1540-reporting/. See also Aaron Dunne, “Strategic Trade Controls in the United Arab Emirates: Key Considerations for the European Union,” Non-Proliferation Papers , No. 12 (March 2012).

[57] Regarding a situation of Pakistani export controls, Paul K. Kerr and Mary Beth Nikitin, “Pakistan’s Nuclear Weapons,” CRS Report , August 1, 2016, pp. 25-26.

[58] David Albright, Sarah Burkhard, Allison Lach and Andrea Stricker, “Most Nuclear Ban Treaty Proponents are Lagging in Implementing Sound Export Control Legislation,” Institute for Science and International Security, September 27, 2017, sound-export.

[59] INFCIRC/254/Rev.12/Part 1, November 13, 2013. 

[60] For example, NPT/CONF.2020/PC.I/WP.2, March 15, 2017.

[61] NPT/CONF.2015/WP.6, March 9, 2015.

[62] David Albright and Andrea Stricker, “JCPOA Procurement Channel: Architecture and Issues,” Institute for Science and International Security, December 11, 2015,

[63] S/RES/2356, June 2, 2017.

[64] S/RES/2371, August 5, 2017.

[65] S/2017/150, February 27, 2017.

[66] S/2017/742, September 5, 2017.

[67] Mainichi Shimbun, August 20, 2017, (in Japanese)

[68] Polina Nikolskaya, “From Russia with Fuel – North Korean Ships May Be Undermining Sanctions,” Reuters, September 20, 2017,

[69] “Sydney Man Charged with Brokering North Korea Missile Sales,” Associated Press, December 16, 2017,

[70] Shirley A. Kan, China and Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and Missiles: Policy Issue, Congressional Research Service, RL31555, January 5, 2015, p.21.

[71] Will Edwards, “Can China Actually Restrain Kim Jong-Un?” CIPHER Brief, June 20, 2017,

[72] Jane Perlez, Yufan Huang and Paul Mozur, “How North Korea Managed to Defy Years of Sanctions,” New Yoke Times, May 12, 2017,

[73] Jonathan Soble, “U.S. Accuses Chinese Company of Money Laundering for North Korea,” New York Times, June 16, 2017,

[74] Yi Whan-woo, “Chinese Vessel Seized over North Korea Oil Trafficking,” Korea Times, December 29, 2017,; Choe Sang-Hun, “South Korea Seizes Ship Suspected of Sending Oil to North Korea,” New York Times, December 29, 2017,

[75] Yu Yong-weon and Kim Jin-myung, “Chinese Ships Spotted Selling Oil to N.Korea,” Chosunilbo, December 26, 2017, China denied the report that it had illicitly sold oil products to North Korea. Philip Wen and David Brunnstrom, “After Trump Criticism, China Denies Selling Oil Illicitly to North Korea,” Reuters, December 29, 2017, In the late December, it was also reported that Russian tankers had supplied oil or oil products to North Korea on at least three occasions by transferring cargoes at sea. Guy Faulconbridge, Jonathan Saul and Polina Nikolskaya, “Russian Tankers Fueled North Korea Via Transfers at Sea—Source,” Reuters, December 30, 2017,

[76] S/2017/742, September 5, 2017, p. 7.

[77] Ibid., p. 43.

[78] S/2017/537, June 27, 2017.

[79] Ibid.

[80] S/2017/1058, December 15, 2017.

[81] U.S. Department of Treasury, “Treasury Sanctions Those Involved in Ballistic Missile Procurement for Iran,” January 17, 2016,

[82] John Park and Jim Walsh, Stopping North Korea, Inc.: Sanctions Effectiveness and Unintended Consequences (Cambridge, MA: MIT Security Program, 2016), p. 33; Paul K. Kerr, Steven A. Hildreth and Mary Beth D. Nilitin, “Iran-North Korea-Syria Ballistic Missile and Nuclear Cooperation,” CRS Report, February 26, 2016, pp. 7-9.

[83] Michael Elleman, “The Secret to North Korea’s ICBM Success,” IISS Voices, August 14, 2017, Ukraine’s report of investigation is “Report of Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, Head of the Working Group Oleksandr Turchynov on Investigation of the Information Stated in the Article of The New York Times,” National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, August 22, 2017,

[84] Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, U.S. Department of State, “Proliferation Security Initiative Participants,” June 9, 2015,

[85] “Exercise Pacific Protector 17,” Australian Government, September 2017,

[86] See the Hiroshima Report 2017.

[87] See, for example, the Hiroshima Report 2017.

[88] Adrian Levy, “India Is Building a Top-Secret Nuclear City to Produce Thermonuclear Weapons, Experts Say,” Foreign Policy, December 16, 2015,

[89] “China and Pakistan join hands to block India’s entry into Nuclear Suppliers Group,” Times of India, May 12, 2016,

[90] See Kelsey Davenport, “Export Group Mulls Membership Terms,” Arms Control Today, Vol. 47, No. 1 (January/ February 2017), p. 50.

[91] “Pakistan Starts Work on New Atomic Site, with Chinese Help,” Global Security Newswire, November 27, 2013,

[92] Bill Gertz, “China, Pakistan Reach Nuke Agreement,” Washington Free Beacon, March 22, 2013, china-pakistan-reach-nuke-agreement/.

[93] “Statement by Indonesia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement State,” Cluster 3, First Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2020 NPT Review Conference, May 9, 2017.

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