Time to Get North Korea Sanctions Right

The U.S. response to North Korea’s nuclear threats has been characterized by firm rhetoric and minimalist measures, in contrast to stronger punitive measures imposed on Iran. Yet in terms of real capabilities, North Korea poses a greater nuclear threat to the U.S. and its allies than Iran. Furthermore, North Korea’s economic and political isolation could make its regime more vulnerable to coercive financial pressure, provided that the Chinese leadership is persuaded that continuing to shelter its recalcitrant ally will only increase the potential for a crisis on the Korean Peninsula. The Obama Administration should overcome its reluctance to impose more extensive punitive measures against Pyongyang and the foreign entities that assist its nuclear and missile programs.

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