Sanctioning Ships and Slush Funds: Countering North Korea’s Illicit Maritime Trade

By Brian J. Liu, University of Pennsylvania

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Over the past eleven years, the UN Security Council has enacted seven separate rounds of sanctions against the North Korean regime. By not only foreclosing the regime’s ability to finance and supply its nuclear program, but also curbing the personal profits North Korean elites enjoy from trade, pressure from economic sanctions—the thinking goes—ought to drive the regime back to the negotiation table on denuclearization. Yet despite the two most recent sanction resolutions targeting coal and rare earth minerals, two of its largest industries, North Korea has still shown no indication that it intends to voluntarily step back its nuclear program. 

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