Skip to main content

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated Cookie policy, Privacy policy and Terms & Conditions

lee38_SAULLOEBAFPGettyImages_trumpjongunsittingunhappily Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

A Practical Approach to North Korean Denuclearization

A deal to eliminate all North Korean nuclear and missile capabilities, in exchange for the removal of all sanctions, isn’t immediately realistic. A more practical approach would offer Kim Jong-un's regime partial sanctions relief and inter-Korean economic cooperation in exchange for concrete, verifiable steps toward denuclearization.

SEOUL – The path to peace on the Korean Peninsula remains as perilous as ever. After a second summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Hanoi in February produced no agreement, tensions have escalated, raising – yet again – concerns about a military confrontation.

The international community’s longstanding formula for dealing with North Korea combines harsh sanctions with intermittent negotiations focused on securing the country’s “complete denuclearization.” Multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions block North Korea from engaging in virtually any foreign trade. It cannot export coal, iron, or other minerals, and its imports of crude oil are severely restricted. Various targeted financial sanctions are also in place.

The United States augments these measures with sanctions of its own, targeting, in particular, foreign financial institutions with any connection to North Korea-linked activities. The US also refuses entry to any aircraft or ship that has been in North Korea in the last 180 days.

We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.

To continue reading, subscribe now.


Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.;
  1. op_twliu1_XinhuaXiao Yijiu via Getty Images_wuhancoronavirushospitaldoctor Xinhua/Xiao Yijiu via Getty Images
    Free to read

    Witnessing Wuhan

    Tracy Wen Liu

    While Chinese authorities have been projecting an image of national triumph over the COVID-19 outbreak there, the doctors and nurses on the front lines tell a different story. Having lived through hell, they see little to celebrate, much to mourn, and reason to remain fearful.


Edit Newsletter Preferences