From April 30 - May 1, The New School’s Center for Public Scholarship hosted a conference on international sanctions and divestment featuring Marcus Noland as a discussant. Video links to the entire conference can be found here, and Marcus’s presentation on sanctions in North Korea starts around 23:05 in the video below. The panel also includes discussions on Burma and Cuba by Sean Turnell and William LeoGrande, respectively.
After the presentations, a Q&A session followed:
Burma and Cuba provide unique comparisons with North Korea—both Naypyidaw and Havana are authoritarian regimes on which the US has historically levied heavy sanctions, but has recently loosened up. In the case of Burma, sanctions have been “suspended” and not completely removed. In the case of Cuba, President Obama has limited wiggle room due to the US Congress but nonetheless has used his executive powers to expand engagement. Ascertaining how much of the recent US-Burma and US-Cuba engagement was caused by either the supply or demand side on the diplomatic front is an open question. But in comparing these cases with North Korea, Marcus points out simply that Pyongyang takes the cake in terms of its isolation and is much more impervious to inducements, either positive or negative.