The purpose of this text is to propose new sanctions toward North Korea, without sanctioning the North Korean civilian society, which is not responsible for the hazardous policy of Kim Jong-un and affiliated organizations.

How to define sanctions?

Sanctions may be defined as measures taken by a state to coerce another to conform to an international agreement or norms of conduct, typically in the form of restrictions on trade or official sporting participation. As we all know, due to the hazardous policy of North Korea, international organizations are applying new sanctions toward North Korea. Instead of sanctioning the North Korean population which is not responsible of the Kim Jong-un’s policy. We should focus on sanctioning the bad leadership.

The bad leadership

Regarding the bad leadership, these people can be segregated in four categories (a longer analysis of the bad leadership is available there):

  • State-sponsored criminals and businessmen responsible for funding the North Korean military,
  • Military leaders who administer the North Korean war machine.
  • Scientists responsible for developing weapons of mass destruction.
  • People responsible for the non-respect of human rights in North Korea.
  • People engaged in narcotic and illegal activities.
  • People engaged in human trafficking.
  • Bowibu (political police) leaders.

See below the list of resolutions adopted by the UN Security Council toward North Korea.

Resolution Date Explanation
1718 2006 The resolution demanded that North Korea cease nuclear testing and prohibited the export to North Korea of some military supplies and luxury goods.The UN Security Council Sanctions Committee on North Korea was established, supported by the Panel of Experts.
1874 2009

The resolution broadened the arms embargo. Member states were encouraged to inspect ships and destroy any cargo suspected being related to the nuclear weapons program.

2087 January 2013

The resolution strengthened previous sanctions by clarifying a state’s right to seize and destroy cargo suspected of heading to or from North Korea for purposes of military research and development.

2094 March 2013

The resolution imposed imposed sanctions on money transfers and aimed to shut North Korea out of the international financial system.

2270 March 2016

The resolution imposed sanctions on money transfers and aimed to shut North Korea out of the international financial system.

2321 November 2016

The resolution capped North Korea’s coal exports and banned exports of copper, nickel, zinc, and silver. In February 2017, a UN panel said that 116 of 193 member states had yet not submitted a report on their implementation of these sanctions, though China had. Also in February 2017, China announced it would ban all imports of coal for the rest of the year.

2371 August 2017

The resolution banned all exports of coal, iron, lead, and seafood. The resolution also imposed new restrictions on North Korea’s Foreign Trade Bank and prohibited any increase in the number of North Koreans working in foreign countries.

An additional set of sanctions?

Prior to sanctions launched by the UN Security Council and the OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control) focused on trade and people ban, I propose a set of new sanctions connected to North Korean institutions. We can notice that the UN Security Council is highly interested in the North Korean case, as the frequency of resolutions toward North Korea is accelerating starting from 2013.

In order to make any progress toward the dangerous development of the nuclear policy of North Korea (which is not requested by the North Korean civilian society, but is only a life insurance for the North Korean leadership), I do propose the following sanctions toward North Korea, which aim to sanction the North Korean leadership, and do not affect the North Korean population.  The column “Appliances to the North Korean leadership” aim to show how sanctions strike directly the North Korean leadership. The column “Implications for the North Korean civil society” is dedicated to any consequences for the North Korean population excluding the North Korean leadership. The column “sanction drivers” is dedicated to countries which are involved by the considered sanctions. Finally, I also propose some softer sanctions through the column “Tempered sanctions”. This list of potential sanctions will be updated. Alle these new sanctions need the unofficial acceptance of Chinese authorities, or at least an efficient role of Chinese authorities toward the application of sanctions. If no, any partners acting for the application of sanctions should be also sanctioned.

Proposed set of new sanctions toward North Korea

  Appliances to the North Korean leadership? Implications for the North Korean civil society Sanction drivers Tempered solution
Collective responsibility Ban people belonging to North Korean families involved by UN and OFAC institutions. Enlarge the list to relatives who may act in the name of the sanctioned people No implication People judging upon the belonging to the “bad” North Korean leadership Ban only selected people. Differentiate those who are guilty and those are responsible for irregularities committed.
Ban Koryo Air The North Korean leadership travel by airplane Due to limited revenues, the North Korean population is not travelling by airplane China. Countries where Koryo Air fly on a charter basis Multiply consequently charges (Landing, Parking, BHS, PBB) for Koryo Air airplanes
Ban Koryo Air Cargo No transportation of goods for the North Korean leadership Goods for the North Korean population are smuggled through the Chinese pedestrian border China, Russia Multiply consequently charges (Landing, Parking, BHS, PBB) for Koryo Air airplanes
Limit railway transportation between North Korea and abroad No transportation of goods for the North Korean leadership Any cultural delegations should travel by road China, Russia Increase fees for parking for North Korean trains abroad; close North Korean of the OSJD (Organization for Cooperation Between Railways)
Close North Korean embassies, revoke North Korean diplomats No domiciliation for NK leadership elites and no outletting of buildings No implication Selected countries Temporary block any moves of North Korean diplomats working abroad
Sanction companies renting offices within North Korean embassies, proceed to fiscal inspections toward these companies (secondary sanctions) No revenue for the North Korean leadership No implication Poland, selected countries Propose new offices to companies concerned
Arrest foreigners who are in touch with the bad North Korean leadership Diminution of the size of the network the North Korean leadership No implication China (already arrested Sam Pa)

Reduce the list of responsible people


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