North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks during the first congress of the country's ruling Workers' Party in 36 years in Pyongyang, in this handout photo provided by KCNA in May 2016.

The North Korean nuclear crisis has placed a premium on the ability of sanctions to avert war, and the past two years have seen an important increase in U.S. and international sanctions against Pyongyang. Since the beginning of 2016, the United Nations Security Council has enacted five new resolutions that rank among the toughest such penalties the UN has ever imposed on any country—targeting the North’s sources of income and trade, and not simply entities directly involved in its nuclear program. The U.S. Congress and President Donald Trump’s administration also enacted important new sanctions last year, including a welcome move to begin imposing sanctions on Chinese companies that engage in commercial trade with North Korea. Just last week, the Trump administration strengthened these measures by imposing sanctions on more than a dozen North Korean financial and procurement representatives based in China and by targeting two Chinese

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  • PETER HARRELL is an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security and a lawyer who advises on sanctions compliance. He served as a member of the State Department's Policy Planning Staff from 2009 to 2012 and as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Counter Threat Finance and Sanctions from 2012 to 2014.
  • JUAN ZARATE is Chair of the Financial Integrity Network and Chair of the Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance. He served as the first ever Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes from 2004 to 2005 and as Deputy National Security Adviser for Combating Terrorism from 2005 to 2009.
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