Why Economic Sanctions Have Failed Against North Korea

Sanctions from the international community are failing to destabilize North Korea’s ruling regime and its nuclear program. “Though the most recent UN sanctions and the U.S. Treasury Department financial sanctions designating North Korea as a ‘primary money laundering concern’ are the toughest measures to date, they have not yet broken the cycle of the regime responding to external pressure with additional ballistic missile tests to prove its resilience against foreign pressure,” writes Dursun Peksen for the Diplomat. Peksen goes on to explain that the regime in North Korea insulates the ruling elite from full effects of sanctions while maintaining harsh controls, including neighborhood-watch surveillance systems, to prevent any opposition. Peksen questions if sanctions, with severe restrictions for ordinary North Koreans, have done more harm than good. He argues for sanctions on luxury goods, dual-use technology that could lead to proliferation and financial transactions along with effective enforcement. Global cooperation is required for sanctions on North Korea to be effective. – YaleGlobal

Why Economic Sanctions Have Failed Against North Korea

Decades of sanctions haven’t succeeded in changing North Korean behavior – and more enforcement and global cooperation is needed
Dursun Peksen
Monday, July 11, 2016

Dursun Peksen is associate professor of political Science at the University of Memphis. This piece is adapted from a longer essay published in the Korea Economic Institute of America’s Academic Paper Series. The full-length essay can be viewed here.

© 2016 The Diplomat. All Rights Reserved.

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