North Korean sanctions have been taking effect says diplomat defector

Thae Yong Ho, who was number two in the North Korean embassy in London before defecting with his family, says sanctions passed last March by the United Nations Security Council against North Korea — described at the time as “ground-breaking” and “unprecedented” — are working.

Thae says Kim Jong Un had wanted to establish 14 special economic zones inside North Korea and set up two ministries to encourage foreign investment, but these two ministries have since been dissolved.

He also says the sanctions are a “very, very strong factor” in the North Korean economy and have a “psychological effect on North Korean people and high ranking officials.”

But they’re not enough.

In keeping with President Trump’s line, Thae says China needs to be persuaded to do more. He says it needs to prevent natural resources being smuggled across the border from North Korea for cash, and also has to take North Korea’s nuclear program more seriously.

Thae even goes one step further — saying that nuclear weapons aren’t only a threat to the US and South Korea. “According to international geopolitics there is no eternal enemy or friend… nobody can predict if one day Kim Jong Un may want to blackmail China,” he says.

[CNN]

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