Haggard on Sanctions at the Monkey Cage

April 9, 2018 9:30 AM

It looks like the United States and North Korea are actually talking, which should not be altogether surprising; it is not clear how you could have a summit without sherpas. And it also looks like North Korea has in fact conceded that denuclearization is also on agenda, which is also not surprising. Talks that did not include the nuclear question were always a non-starter.

Much will now focus on what any framework agreement will look like given the short time frame. But in the interim, sanctions continue to operate—assuming China maintains its commitment to enforcing them. That in turn will depend on the negotiations track. Some, including most notably incoming National Security Advisor John Bolton, appear to think that such talks are a fool’s errand. President Trump apparently disagrees. But if the negotiations track falls apart, China’s commitment to maintaining the multilateral sanctions regime might as well. Much also hinges on the unspoken assumption that China will not take out its umbrage over recent sanctions by backing off its largely cooperative stance with respect to North Korea.

I discuss these issues in piece at the Monkey Cage published on April 6.



In a previous article you contended that the export bans on commodities and sanctions enforcement would yield to significant depreciation of the NK won and massive inflation. There is no indication this has taken effect in the last two years . Can you write a follow up article to explain. It seems odd given North Korea's massive current account deficit for 2 decades that they could have billions in F/X reserves to prop up the currency. Even minor actions against Iran in 2012 led to immediate depreciation of the rial. 

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Stephan Haggard Senior Research Staff

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