Sanctions against North Korea are efficient if we want to destabilize the “bad” North Korean leadership?

The United States imposed sanctions Tuesday on two North Korean officials who are considered key to their country’s development of ballistic missiles.

Kim Jong-sik, a veteran rocket scientist, and Ri Pyong-chol, a former old senior air force commander, are often seen on television and in photographs with leader Kim Jong Un.

Ri Pyong Chol
Ri Pyong-chol (circled in green)

The sanctions by the Treasury Department mean that any assets the two men hold in the United States can be seized and that Americans are prohibited from dealing with them. More significantly, banks are prohibited from transactions with them involving U.S. dollars, which includes a considerable number of international transactions.

“Treasury is targeting leaders of North Korea’s ballistic missile programs, as part of our maximum pressure campaign to isolate the DPRK and achieve a fully denuclearized Korean Peninsula,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement, using the initials for North Korea’s official name.


I consider that these sanctions won’t have the expected impact. These individuals disposed also of Chinese and other Asian nationalities passports, which will allow them to continue their business. Entities related to the UN shall sanction entities dealing with the DPRK instead of individuals.

Sanctions on crude may have a destabilizing impact on the DPRK economy, and may lead to additional provocations of the DPRK leadership.

I invite UN officials to sanction DPRK diplomats based abroad, and to force foreign authorities to close all DPRK restaurants based abroad.

In order to destabilize the DPRK leadership, I also encourage the Chinese, Russian, and South Korean government to officialy reward potential high defectors. I underline  that it shall be done, as the main goal is to destabilize the DPRK leadership.

Ri Gun
Ri Gun, the North Korean ambassador to Poland (center) surrrounded with two Polish scholars

I also encourage foreign authorities to invite DPRK diplomats based abroad to abroad. Those who are essential are DPRK diplomats who are connected to the nuclear issues, such as Ri Gun, the DPRK ambassador to Poland, or some diplomats based in Russia in Poland. The majority of them are not wealthy (according to DPRK sources, the heritage Ri Gun is slightly above the average)

I suggest that, North Korean assets based abroad shall be also simply frozen, such as the Chilbosan Hotel in Shenyang. Regarding an other hotel, outlet by North Korean autorities, in Berlin. This entity is still functionning in spite of the pressure of the German MOFA. Therefore, countries which are not applying correctly sanctions against North Korea could be also sanctioned.

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