The effect of sanctions on North Korea

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Experts believe that sanctions on North Korea were likely to have little effect—which is already under several international penalties.

“How do you sanction the world’s most heavily sanctioned country?” said John Park, a Northeast Asia specialist at Harvard Kennedy School, adding that “every time you apply sanctions to a target, it forces them to innovate and get around sanctions.”

Other experts had suggested in December that the U.S. government might be able to hurt the regime in Pyongyang by attacking its international exposure—either those foreign firms operating in North Korea, or North Korean entities operating abroad.

This may account for the sanctioning of some of the officials with business ties to other countries, including Kil Jong Hun and Kim Kwang Yon, who the Treasury described as representing “the southern African interests of KOMID.”

Sanctioned groups include intelligence organization Reconnaissance General Bureau, Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation (which the Treasury called the country’s “primary arms dealer and main exporter of goods and equipment related to ballistic missiles and conventional weapon”), and defense industry-focused Korea Tangun Trading Corporation.

“The financial portion is what hurts them the most,” Jack Pritchard, who served as U.S. ambassador and special envoy for negotiations with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea from 2001 to 2003.


This entry was posted in by Grant Montgomery.

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