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KEI Spotlight

Troy Stangarone on How to Handle Sanctions Relief With North Korea

March 5, 2019

Ahead of the summit in Hanoi between President Trump and Kim Jong-un, KEI Senior Director Troy Stangarone addresses the question of whether the United States should lift sanctions currently imposed on North Korea. While this might advance talks, Stangarone also recognizes that if the process were to stall, there will need to be a means to restore pressure. In the absence of a clear provocation by North Korea, it would be unlikely that the United States would be able to get sanctions restored if they had been removed rather than suspended.

In this context, he presents three alternatives: 1) lifting specific U.S. sanctions; 2) limited UN exemptions for specific inter-Korean projects; 3) a temporary UN waiver. 

In addition to weighing the strengths and weaknesses of each option, Stangarone presents four criteria for the most effective means to leverage the prospective reduction of pressure.

  • Relief should be temporary, but renewable.
  • Waive prohibited imports rather than North Korean exports.
  • Save the big items until last.
  • Reinforce good behavior rather than allow the bad practices of the past to persist.

Please find the full article here