North Korean nuclear crisis / Economic sanctions should be placed on North Korea

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Position: Economic sanctions should be placed on North Korea

This position addresses the topic North Korean nuclear crisis.


For this position


Quotes-start.png "The lesson we should be teaching Pyongyang is that breaking your commitment to non-nuclearization leads not to concession after concession, but to isolation, pressure, and the uncomfortable position of having a nuclear arsenal pointed at you." Quotes-end.png
From He Huffs and He Puffs, by Dan Blumenthal (The Weekly Standard, October 9, 2006) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Cutting Kim's lifeline, at least temporarily, might sound draconian. Many of North Korea's 23 million people could starve. But the masses are already starving. Some reportedly subsist on tree bark. Food aid and goods, as in other totalitarian regimes, tend to go to the elite, including Kim." Quotes-end.png
From North Korea's nuclear test puts onus on China, S. Korea, by USA Today editorial board (USA Today, October 9, 2006) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Choking off the flow of dollars to Pyongyang would do more than cramp Kim's lavish lifestyle; it would threaten his grip on power. Like other crime bosses, Kim rewards his underlings and ensures their loyalty by letting them share the loot. Kim's extended family, the top echelons of the Communist Party, and the upper ranks of the military and security services all benefit from this arrangement." Quotes-end.png
From An Offer Kim Can't Refuse, by Aaron Friedberg (The Washington Post, October 16, 2006) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Now that the UN Security Council has authorised those sanctions, it falls to us to assist in their enforcement in any way we can, in particular via a blockade of North Korean trade. But, just as the Army has been starved of the resources to do its job in Iraq and Afghanistan, so there are serious question marks over whether the Navy is equipped for this task." Quotes-end.png
From Britain's obligation to blockade North Korea, by The Daily Telegraph editorial board (The Daily Telegraph, October 16, 2006) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Allegedly, this is all about North Korea's desire to press for bilateral talks with the United States, something the Bush administration has rightly rejected. In a bilateral setting, the blame for failure would inevitable redound to the United States" Quotes-end.png
From Dancing with Kim, by Helle Dale (The Washington Times, October 11, 2006) (view)
Quotes-start.png "We need to junk the six-party talks and pressure Pyongyang on all fronts, toward the long-term goal of the collapse of its government. All of the North’s sources of income are illegal — counterfeiting, WMD trade, and narcotics trafficking — and we can crack down on them further." Quotes-end.png
From A Blast at the Lamont Doctrine, by Rich Lowry (National Review, October 10, 2006) (view)
Quotes-start.png "North Korea will be encouraged if the United Nations fails to respond with much more severe military sanctions than it has already imposed on the regime. But even if the UN tries to fit North Korea for a noose, it will fail unless China fully backs the effort." Quotes-end.png
From Bang, by Chicago Tribune editorial board (Chicago Tribune, October 10, 2006) (view)
Quotes-start.png "China's condemnation this week of North Korea's "brazen" actions is rhetorically appropriate, but it's time for China to start supporting tough actions -- beginning with sanctions in the U.N. Security Council." Quotes-end.png
From The defiant one, by The Washington Times editorial board (The Washington Times, October 10, 2006) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Chinese officials are said to roll their eyes in private at North Korean intransigence and to downplay their influence over Kim. Their act isn't terribly convincing. China is North Korea's last friend and ally and its biggest supplier of food and fuel. In 2003, it briefly shut off gas pipelines to make the point that Pyongyang had better agree to six-party negotiations over nuclear disarmament." Quotes-end.png
From Kim Jong Il's Challenge to China, by Los Angeles Times editorial board (Los Angeles Times, October 10, 2006) (view)
Quotes-start.png "It's tragic that international sanctions - China's and others' - would work awful things on the North Korean people. Kim Jong Il is not the one who will starve to death. But this insane regime cannot be permitted to continue unchallenged." Quotes-end.png
From North Korea goes fission, by New York Daily News editorial board (New York Daily News, October 10, 2006) (view)
Quotes-start.png "In the absence of workable military options, the United States probably cannot force North Korea to give up its bomb, nor can the United States overturn the regime. The real leverage lies with South Korea and China. Without their continued material support, and their insistence on shutting their borders to the North's desperate people, the Kim regime could not survive for long." Quotes-end.png
From Responding to North Korea, by The Washington Post editorial board (The Washington Post, October 10, 2006) (view)
Quotes-start.png "South Korea and especially China should rethink appeasement. It has failed. A full cut-off of energy supplies and foreign aid would help pressure Kim Jong Il. Opening the Chinese border to North Korean refugees would do so as well. Most important, the world should tighten the screws it already has in place, with success, on the North's external financial accounts. No dictator can run a rogue state without money." Quotes-end.png
From North Korea's Nukes, by The Wall Street Journal editorial board (The Wall Street Journal, October 10, 2006) (view)
Quotes-start.png "But negotiations make no sense if your negotiating partner is using them only as delaying tactic, or as a way to demonstrate your weakness, or as a means to get concessions that it will pocket while never living up to its promises. North Korea arguably represents a trifecta." Quotes-end.png
From Rogue Realities, by National Review editorial board (National Review, October 10, 2006) (view)
Quotes-start.png "At a bare minimum, China, Russia, Japan and South Korea need to be on the same page - that is, willing to impose draconian sanctions on Pyongyang until its nuclear adventure has ended, and to respond with appropriate force if the North lashes out in response." Quotes-end.png
From Kim's Ka-boom, by New York Post editorial board (New York Post, October 10, 2006) (view)
Quotes-start.png "The best outcome of this crisis would be a strong U.N. resolution, leading to tough sanctions. But since U.N. members seem set to reward President Roh's foreign minister Ban Ki-moon for his failures by making him the next secretary-general of the world body, real sanctions seem unlikely." Quotes-end.png
From Nuclear Lessons, by Jasper Becker (The Wall Street Journal, October 10, 2006) (view)
Quotes-start.png "South Korea's reluctance to crack down on Kim Jong Il's regime could undermine the coming six-nation disarmament talks, scheduled for next month and involving both Koreas and the U.S., Japan, Russia and China. The toothlessness of its response to Kim's aggressive pursuit of nuclear weapons puts the U.S. and Japan, which favor more aggressive tactics, in a weak negotiating position." Quotes-end.png
From South Korea blinks, by Los Angeles Times editorial board (Los Angeles Times, November 14, 2006) (view)
Quotes-start.png "China has feared to apply such pressure, worried that it could collapse Kim Jong-il's regime altogether -- an accurate assessment of the regime's limited staying power. Nonetheless, the effect of Chinese reticence has been to preserve Kim and his nuclear program. It is vital that China know this policy is no longer viable." Quotes-end.png
From Salvaging Our North Korea Policy, by John Bolton (The Wall Street Journal, March 17, 2008) (view)
Quotes-start.png "First, instead of backing off, the president should authorize the imposition of further financial sanctions on the North. He should also quietly tell Beijing that, unless it is willing to clean its own house, the U.S. government will follow the money trail of North Korea's counterfeiting and smuggling wherever it leads, even if this means going after banks, front companies, and individuals in China." Quotes-end.png
From Not too Late to Curb Dear Leader, by Dan Blumenthal, Aaron Friedberg (The Weekly Standard, February 5, 2007) (view)
Quotes-start.png "In fact the best option the Bush administration now has is to work with such allies as Japan to raise the economic pressure on North Korea as much as is possible. Diplomacy is best focused not on Pyongyang, but on Beijing -- which needs to be convinced that the stability it says it seeks in Asia, and in its relations with the United States, depends on its willingness to bring real pressure to bear on North Korea." Quotes-end.png
From North Korea's Pass, by The Washington Post editorial board (The Washington Post, December 31, 2006) (view)

Against this position


Quotes-start.png "Consider the countries that have chosen to give up either their nuclear weapons or a nuclear program: Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus, South Africa, Brazil and Argentina. In all these cases what worked was mainly a positive incentive, not a punishment. [...] On the other hand, punishment—decades of sanctions—had no effect on India or Pakistan. So far it has had no effect on Iran or North Korea." Quotes-end.png
From Let Them Eat Carrots, by Fareed Zakaria (Newsweek, October 16, 2006) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Sure the Clinton-era deal failed. Sure it would be humiliating to reward bad behaviour by North Korea. Sure it would be very unlikely to succeed. But there is just a chance, and it should be taken, before the horror of military action, or the proliferation danger of simply copping a North Korean nuclear capability, are all that's left." Quotes-end.png
From US must talk to Pyongyang, by Michael Costello (The Australian, October 13, 2006) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Just as the Soviet Union once propped up Fidel Castro's Cuba economically, so now does the Chinese government prop up North Korea. China now provides North Korea on a heavily subsidized basis with much of the food and energy it needs. To withdraw this aid would be to both starve and freeze a wide swath of the North Korean population and trigger a political implosion." Quotes-end.png
From Only China, not U.S., can rein in N. Korea, by Peter Navarro (Chicago Tribune, October 12, 2006) (view)
Quotes-start.png "The stupidest policy would be one of economic sanctions. This never works, impoverishing peoples while rendering their rulers ever more embattled and paranoid. Nothing in history so props up dictatorship as economic siege. Ask Castro, Gadafy, Saddam and the ayatollahs." Quotes-end.png
From Accept North Korea into the nuclear club or bomb it now, by Simon Jenkins (The Guardian, October 11, 2006) (view)
Quotes-start.png "If a warning is to have a chance of influencing North Korea's behavior it has to be much more specific. It would have to promise retaliation against North Korea if a terrorist detonated a nuclear bomb in one of our cities. It must be backed by a meaningful forensics program that can identify the source of a nuclear bomb." Quotes-end.png
From In Search of a North Korea Policy, by William Perry (The Washington Post, October 11, 2006) (view)
Quotes-start.png "The simple framework for a step-by-step agreement exists, with the United States giving a firm and direct statement of no hostile intent, and moving toward normal relations if North Korea forgoes any further nuclear weapons program and remains at peace with its neighbors. Each element would have to be confirmed by mutual actions combined with unimpeded international inspections." Quotes-end.png
From Solving the Korean Stalemate, One Step at a Time, by Jimmy Carter (The New York Times, October 11, 2006) (view)
Quotes-start.png "To advance U.S. security interests, the United States should agree to bilateral negotiations. It should press North Korea to suspend further nuclear and missile tests while negotiations on normalization proceed, freeze plutonium production and make a firm, timebound commitment to return to the six-party talks." Quotes-end.png
From In a Test, a Reason to Talk, by Selig S. Harrison (The Washington Post, October 10, 2006) (view)
Quotes-start.png "From apartheid South Africa to Fidel Castro's Cuba, the aim of an embargo is usually to encourage the population to agitate for change, or even rise up and overthrow their government. But that won't work when it comes to North Korea, where agitators and dissenters quickly face the firing squad. A regime that sacrificed at least half a million of its citizens during the famine of the 1990s is hardly likely to care if their plight is now further worsened by sanctions." Quotes-end.png
From No Good Options, by Andrei Lankov (The Wall Street Journal, October 10, 2006) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Instead of pursuing yet more harsh and futile sanctions on North Korea in the UN Security Council, as the US ambassador to the UN John Bolton was doing yesterday , Bush ought to reconsider the wisdom of his refusal to test the seriousness of North Korea's repeated offers to trade away its nuclear and missile programs for the end-of-enmity agreement that only Washington can provide." Quotes-end.png
From The North Korean test, by The Boston Globe editorial board (The Boston Globe, October 10, 2006) (view)

Mixed on this position


Quotes-start.png "If the U.S. and China cooperate now in seriously sanctioning North Korea, the regime could collapse. That would be both welcome and deeply dangerous. On the other hand, if the U.S. and China refuse to cooperate in sanctioning Korea, and break with each other instead, we face yet another sort of destabilizing regional conflict." Quotes-end.png
From It's the Nukes, Stupid, by Stanley Kurtz (National Review, October 9, 2006) (view)
Quotes-start.png "Sometimes sanctions actually strengthen the regime against which they are imposed, as their impact is felt directly by the people and leaves rulers untouched. The adversity faced by the people forces them to rally around the regime which the sanctions are supposed to weaken. Even where the sanctions are successful they take a long time to work." Quotes-end.png
From DPRK nuclear danger, by Anand Kumar (The Washington Times, October 13, 2006) (view)
Quotes-start.png "For too long, China has baulked at "destabilising" North Korea for fear of an exodus of Koreans seeking refuge in China and the eventual creation of a united Korea allied to the US. Chinese leaders must now accept that Mr Kim's regime, especially when armed with nuclear weapons, is itself unstable, as well as being a destabilising force in the region." Quotes-end.png
From Pyongyang's act of irresponsibility, by Financial Times editorial board (Financial Times, October 10, 2006) (view)