Since the end of the Cold War North Korean nuclear activities have posed a grave
and continuing threat towards global and regional North East Asian security. At
the same time sanctions have been employed, primarily by the United States, in an
attempt to contain these activities and ideally pressure North Korea to give up on
their nuclear weapons programme. Since the sanctions have had a somewhat
ambiguous result, an important question follows: Is there a role at all for external
pressure like sanctions in coercing North Korea into concessions or should they be
dismissed as a worthless coercive foreign policy tool in this case?
The vast majority of sanctions theory and empirical studies share a
pessimistic view on the overall success of sanctions especially regarding North
Korea. The dominant rationale runs along the following lines: the hostilities
encompassing US-DPRK relations through the last six decades and the North
Korean record of unreliable, aggressive and paranoid behaviour makes the regime
an implausible candidate for economic, diplomatic and military sanctions. Also,
history implies that coercion success is temporary at best as the denuclearisation
agreements in 1994, 2005 and 2007 underscores. Furthermore, compelling a country
at the border of acquiring nuclear weapons capabilities should be judged an
extremely difficult task. Hence, it seems accurate to treat the North Korean nuclear
weapons programme as a least-likely case for sanctions success.
Send mail to: Copenhagen Political Studies Press
Most recent publication
Books are distributed by Academic Books
Ib Damgaard Petersen Award

NORDKOREA: Negative og positive succes under atomvåbenkrisen, 2002-2007

Daniel Skjold Pedersen

Guidelines (Author's)