“Harshest Sanctions Ever” Not Harsh Enough?: Concerns Over U.N. Resolution Regarding North Korea

By April Kent

In February, the United States presented a draft resolution negotiated with China to the U.N. Security Council to impose restrictions aimed at frustrating North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs. The proposed sanctions have been widely hailed as the toughest U.N. sanctions regime in over two decades, with one U.S. official quoted as saying, “this resolution will be felt, it will have an impact... The DPRK (North Korea) has never been subject to the kind of pressure that is in the resolution.” However, others have expressed doubts. The New York Times reported that analysts in South Korea and China are less than certain that sanctions will be sufficient to force North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons. The Wall Street Journal also recently published an article elaborating on the loopholes and oversights that will allow China to continue playing “a double game of rhetorically deploring North Korea’s nuclear program while propping it up in practice.” Whether the sanctions will have their intended effect remains to be seen.