North Korea’s recent nuclear and missile tests galvanized the international community to unprecedented cooperation on imposing new sanctions on the recalcitrant regime. South Korea severed its ties to the Kaesong joint economic venture and stood up to Chinese pressure to announce discussions to deploy the THAAD missile defense system. Japan imposed new unilateral sanctions, the United States passed the North Korea Sanctions Enforcement Act and added entities to its sanctions list, and the U.N. passed its toughest resolution against North Korea.
Despite this new consensus on the need to better enforce laws and resolutions, many misperceptions linger over the intended objectives and what sanctions can do. Despite more effective means to target the North Korean regime’s finances, implementation remains critical, particularly by China. With everyone adopting stronger sanctions, will Kim Jong-un perceive himself to be painted into a corner and feel compelled to take even more provocative steps than before? With no apparent off-ramp on the highway to a crisis, is the danger of military clash on the Korean Peninsula again rising?
More About the Speakers
Dr. Nicholas Eberstadt
Henry Wendt Scholar in Political Economy, American Enterprise Institute
Dr. Lee Sung-yoon
Professor in Korean Studies, The Fletcher School, Tufts University
Author of Arsenal of Terror: North Korea, State Sponsor of Terrorism and Blogger, One Free Korea
Senior Research Fellow, Northeast Asia