RPI Author Scott Snyder on the Latest U.N. Sanctions Against North Korea

RPI Author Scott Snyder on the Latest U.N. Sanctions Against North Korea

Li Baodong

China’s Ambassador to the UN, Li Baodong, speaking before the Security Council last year (Credit: Xinhua News Agency)

After several weeks of internal deliberation, the United Nations Security Council agreed on Thursday to expand sanctions against North Korea in response to its February 12 nuclear test. U.N. Security Council Resolution 2094 joins a number of prior resolutions (1695, 1718, 1874, and 2087) issued after past missile experiments and nuclear tests by the reclusive nation.

The latest vote was unsurprisingly met with condemnation by Pyongyang, which announced that it was nullifying nonaggression and denuclearization pacts with South Korea, silencing an emergency hot-line between the two countries, and earlier this week threatened to carry out “a preemptive nuclear strike” on the United States.

RPI Nuclear Debates in Asia author Scott A. Snyder writes that the increasingly punitive resolutions are “designed to cut off flows of nuclear and missile technologies between North Korea and the outside world and to signal international disapproval of North Korea’s nuclear-related activities.” Furthermore, Snyder highlights that the resolution “reaffirms its support to the Six Party Talks, calls for their resumption, urges all the participants to intensify their efforts on the full and expeditious implementation of the 19 September 2005 [Six Party Talks] Joint Statement.”

Despite the unanimous vote on the Security Council, Snyder believes it remains to be seen:

“whether member states, including China, are prepared to implement these new measures, or whether they will be subjected to a combination of strict interpretations and “willful blindness” on the docks that would render the new measures ineffective.”

Snyder, a senior fellow for Korea Studies and director of the Program on U.S.-Korea Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations, advises North Korean leaders that continued brinksmanship which “turns a deaf ear to the international community’s frustrations” could ultimately undermine its strategy of regime survival if these provocations lead to more “vigorous” implementation of current U.N. Security Council resolutions by long-time but increasingly irritated partners such as China.

Read Scott Snyder’s full blog post here.