Debunking Six Myths About North Korean Sanctions
December 22, 2014
Myth 1. The U.S. and other nations face a policy choice between sanctions or engagement
All instruments of national power should be used simultaneously in conjunction with each other as part of a comprehensive, integrated strategy. No tool is meant to be used in isolation, so statements such as “sanctions by themselves won’t be effective” and “sanctions are not a silver bullet” reflect a misunderstanding of the requisite broader policy strategy.
When debating the efficacy of sanctions, it is important to recognize that diplomatic engagement has failed to curtail North Korea’s two nuclear programs. Pyongyang violated each of the four international agreements it signed to never pursue nuclear weapons programs. Four subsequent agreements to abandon the weapons it promised never to build also collapsed. Over a 20 year period, the international community has pursued two-party, three-party, four-party and six-party negotiations – all have failed.