December 01, 2023

Why the coronavirus could sharpen the battle over sanctions relief for the DPRK

Difficulties in COVID-19 prevention could support the Chinese and Russian position that U.S.-led sanctions are too harsh

Pyongyang’s decision to seal off its borders with China and Russia -- and stringently control the movement on non-citizens in and out of the country -- has brought North Korea under an unprecedented degree of isolation.

Indeed, the DPRK’s provision of medical aid to the PRC to assist with the COVID-19 crisis just over a month ago was arguably primarily about soothing Chinese consternation over Pyongyang’s decision to shut its border with the PRC.