July 09, 2020

Why sanctioning North Korea’s elites won’t bring down Kim Jong Un
Regime loyalists will not risk unification by absorption for the sake of expensive Cognac

When people talk about sanctioning rogue regimes, it is pretty standard to claim that such measures exist not to punish the good regular people of the country, but to penalize its elites, the ones allegedly responsible for the state's wrongdoing and bad decisions.

These statements resonate well with the dominant, if somewhat hypocritical, mood of our times. Long gone are the days when a successful leader would advertise in beautifully written cuneiform signs exactly how many prisoners of both sexes his brave soldiers had impaled and skinned alive after a victorious military expedition.