What next for sanctions against North Korea?

By Christopher J. Watterson | August 30, 2019

Sanctions against North Korean nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs are not working. Pyongyang continues to see qualitative improvements in its nuclear and missile capabilities, and UN reporting reveals that the sanctions regime itself is subject to “rampant violations.” Despite these failures, sanctions remain a valuable, and a central tool in facilitating North Korean denuclearization. Strengthening the coercive power of sanctions against North Korea requires three targeted improvements in implementation: preventing WMD sales, improving sanctions compliance, and stifling sanctions evasion.

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David Ecklein
David Ecklein

Sanctions are an act of war, and I am surprised that the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists issues articles seemingly advocating them. Of course sanctions will not work, so why try more of them? One step to denuclearize the Korean peninsula would be to remove all sanctions, boycotts, and embargoes, which have had a share in impoverishing the DPRK and helping them to remain suspicious of the US, the chief enforcer of these measures. Free trade between nations has always been a prescription for peace. Another step would be to sign a peace treaty with the DPRK, which the US has… Read more »

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