BREAKING NEWS Out Of South Korea… Here’s What We Know


South Korea will impose new unilateral sanctions against nuclear-armed Pyongyang, a report said Sunday, in Seoul’s latest effort to pressure the North after a series of weapons tests that have sent regional tensions surging.

Already, the Treasury Department has added eight North Korean banks and more than two dozen North Korean nationals working in countries like China, Russia and Libya to its sanctions list.


Treasury has also slapped sanctions on a Chinese businessman and several North Korean shipping and trading companies and vessels.

The North Korean regime is believed to use a complex network of front companies to do business in China and other countries to dodge the U.S.’s economic restrictions. North Korea is also known to employ deceptive shipping practices, including ship-to-ship transfers.

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North Korea ignores all the sanctions placed upon them and does as they please, it seems the “sanctions” are simply for appearance and to appease the global leaders that feel blunt force trauma should not be used against North Korea.


The move comes after a rare visit to North Korea by a senior U.N. official, who called for dialogue between Pyongyang and the international community to avert a potentially catastrophic “miscalculation” in the high-stakes nuclear crisis.


Seoul’s new measures, its second set of unilateral sanctions in a month, are likely to draw an angry response from Pyongyang, which views its neighbor as overly dependent on a hostile Washington.

A total of 20 North Korean organizations, including banks and trading companies, and 12 North Korean individuals — mostly bankers — will be blacklisted as of Monday, the South’s Yonhap news agency reported citing a foreign ministry official.

“The organizations and individuals were involved in supplying money needed to develop weapons of mass destruction or illegal trading of sanctioned items,” the official said, according to Yonhap.

The measures are in addition to those by the U.N. Security Council, which has hit the isolated and impoverished North with a package of sanctions over its increasingly powerful missile and nuclear tests.

China, Pyongyang’s sole major diplomatic and military ally, has also backed the U.N. embargoes, but has repeatedly pushed for talks to diffuse tensions.

The U.N.’s under secretary general Jeffrey Feltman visited the North just a week after Pyongyang said it test-fired a new ballistic missile capable of reaching the United States.

His trip also coincided with the U.S. and South Korea’s biggest-ever joint air exercise, which the North slammed as a provocation and revealing an intention to “mount a surprise nuclear pre-emptive strike”.

Seoul’s sanctions will bar South Korean individuals and entities from transacting with those on the list, but it will be largely symbolic given a lack of inter-Korean economic ties.

Last year, South Korea unilaterally closed operations at the jointly-run Kaesong Industrial Complex, saying cash from the zone was being funneled to the North’s weapons program.

The complex was the last remaining form of North-South economic cooperation. Seoul banned nearly all business with the North in 2010 after accusing Pyongyang of sinking one of its warships.

Failure to stop Pyongyang’s latest provocations is renewing skepticism that Washington’s favorite tool for penalizing Kim Jong Un’s regime will ever have any measurable impact.

“No amount of sanctions will stop North Korea,” Jae Ku, the director of the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, told Foreign Policy. “Nuclear weapons are their sole survival strategy.”

Ku said as long as North Korea believes a nuclear arsenal is the only thing protecting it from Western efforts toward regime change, sanctions will have a limited impact.

William Brown, a Korea expert at Georgetown University, said the regime has long understood how to maintain control of an isolated and blacklisted economy.

“Sanctions don’t have much impact on an economy that has been essentially bankrupt for a generation and which long ago lost its most important benefactors,” he said. “Sanctions may even help Kim control the flow of money to individuals that increasingly are seen as rivals to the state’s authoritarian controls, and even to Kim’s rule.”


 Huny Badger is a Veteran who served our country as an Army Combat Medic.



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