On the question of effectiveness of sanctions against DPRK

Korgun I.A.,

Institute of Economics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia, irinakorgun@yandex.ru

elibrary_id: 498173 | ORCID: 0000-0002-1496-4375 | RESEARCHER_ID: N-5433-2015

Toloraya G.D.,

Doctor of Economics, Institute of Economics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia, toloraya@nkibrics.ru

elibrary_id: 732345 | ORCID: 0000-0002-3685-2120 | RESEARCHER_ID: K-2733-2017

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2022.03.07

For citation:

Korgun I.A., Toloraya G.D. On the question of effectiveness of sanctions against DPRK. – Polis. Political Studies. 2022. No. 4. P. 80-95. (In Russ.). https://doi.org/10.17976/jpps/2022.03.07


This paper aims to contribute to the discussion on the effectiveness of sanctions as a foreign policy tool by analysing the impact of UN sanctions on DPRK’s economy. The problem lies at the center of attention from the international community as more countries become subject to a growing variety and scope of restrictions imposed by the US. The US establishment views such restrictions as a key element in achieving its foreign policy goals. But more importantly, sanctions are increasingly being used for purposes of economic competition. The case of North Korea allows the authors to identify some major trends in the way sanctions are applied and to suggest the trajectory of their development for at least the mid-term period. International sanctions against North Korea were passed at the UN in December 2017. Measures proposed by the US and its allies targeted 90% of DPRK’s exports and a considerable part of imports aiming to undermine the regime’s ability to finance itself. But contrary to expectations, there was little progress in the situation and diplomatic attempts did not allow to coerce the North into any considerable concessions in terms of policy changes. The analysis of the economic consequences of sanctions, done in this research, shows that Pyongyang is driven towards illegal activity, its tactics become more sophisticated and the types of operations it undertakes is diversifying rapidly. The findings demonstrate that on multiple occasions, sanctions contradict the initial goals set by the December 2017 UN package. But the current trends in the use of sanctions suggest that they will remain one of the most widely used tools in the Western foreign policy in the near future. The spheres of sanctions’ application will likely expand and become more complex, will involve a wider array of private sector actors. DPRK case study shows the shapes of things to come. 

DPRK, sanctions, effectiveness of sanctions, North Korean economy, Security Council, UN.


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Content No. 3, 2022

See also:

Toloraya G.D., Torkunov A.V.,
Nuclear and Missile Threat on the Korean Peninsula: Origins and Response Measures. – Polis. Political Studies. 2016. No4

Timofeev I.N.,
The U.S. Sanctions Against Iran: Experience and Eventual Implications. – Polis. Political Studies. 2018. No4

Timofeev I.N.,
“Sanctions for Sanctions Violation”: U.S. Department of Treasury Enforcement Actions against Financial Sector. – Polis. Political Studies. 2020. No6

Lukin A.L.,
Russia and the Korean Peninsula: Political Realism and Empathy. – Polis. Political Studies. 2021. No3

Crowley-Vigneau A, Baykov A.A., Kalyuzhnova Y.,
Russian higher education under sanctions: a constructivist perspective. – Polis. Political Studies. 2022. No4



Introducing an article

Polis. Political Studies
1 2002

Derkach M.A.
The “North Dimension” Program and the Interests of Russia

 The article text (электронная версия)


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