September 21, 2023

New North Korean sanctions should reflect humanitarian concerns

Consider NGOs, and those whose lives depend on their work, when crafting a response to the nuke test

North Korea’s reported test of a hydrogen bomb may facilitate U.S. Congressional passage of additional sanctions targeting North Korea, and the UN Security Council will soon begin negotiating on a new sanctions resolution. Whenever North Korea engages in acts deemed provocative by U.S. officials or the international community few viable options are available for response.

However, the desired impact of sanctions on North Korea has been hindered by intermittent (at best) implementation by the international community and particularly by China. Despite years of adding layer after layer to the onion of the global sanctions regime, North Korea’s nuclear program and missile projects proceed apace. Aided by a vast global trading company network and an immense web of affiliate organizations, the North Koreans are convinced they can continue to outmaneuver the international community’s best efforts to shut down their nuclear and other prohibited activities.