The Challenges of Implementing Sanctions on North Korea: An Expert’s Perspective
In 2023, KEI has set out on its “Rethinking Korea initiative,” which explores the evolution of U.S.-Korea relations, Korea’s place in the world, and rapid changes in Korean society itself. The initiative involves both retrospective inquiry as well as prospective analysis about future trends. Our guest today is someone with direct experience monitoring international sanctions against North Korea.
Maiko Takeuchi has 20 years of experience in national security, specializing in WMD non-proliferation and security export controls. She served the United Nations Security Council as a member of the Panel of Experts (UNSCR 1874 Panel of Experts) for North Korea for five years (2016-2021). While on the Panel, she investigated North Korea’s nuclear and other WMD programs and related procurements, and violations of embargoes, overseas workers, and activities of UN-designated entities.
During our conversation, we traversed various topics, including how she (and other experts) come to serve on the panel; the tumultuous period during which she served, when the Korean Peninsula moved from threats of nuclear war to historic engagement and back again to stalemate and recrimination; the effectiveness and unintended consequences of sanctions; the challenges in monitoring and implementation; geopolitics’ effect on the panel’s work; and increasing attention on North Korea’s cyber activities and use of cryptocurrency to evade sanctions.