May 09, 2017

The Maximum Financial-Pressure Strategy for North Korea

By Elizabeth Rosenberg

The Trump administration has said that the maximum-pressure approach to address North Korea’s destabilizing nuclear and missile activities includes sanctions. That’s just the starting point to sever Pyongyang’s external financial ties and build leverage to reduce the risk of conflict on the Korean peninsula. The success of such an effort rests on a calculated strategy for sanctions implementation, aggressive diplomatic engagement around the measures, and a program for minimizing blowback from North Korea’s main financial enabler, China.

Here’s how to do it.

First, Washington needs the right financial tools to pressure North Korea. Contrary to what some believe, there is plenty of scope to increase the pressure. The most powerful way to do this is with secondary sanctions, measures that force foreign firms to choose between dealing with the United States or North Korea. Medium to large global firms will always choose the United States. They can’t do without access to the U.S. market or the dollar.

Read the full article at Foreign Policy.