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Debate: US sanctions on North Korea

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Are United States sanctions on North Korea justified?

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Background and context

In 1917, under President Woodrow Wilson, the U.S. Congress passed the Trading With the Enemy Act. The objective of this legislation, passed during World War I, was to restrict trade with countries hostile toward the U.S. On December 16, 1950, President Harry Truman invoked the TWEA as a legal basis for imposing financial and trade restrictions against China and North Korea during the Korean conflict. These restrictions remained in effect until January 1, 1975. More recently, after the attacks of September 11th, 2001, the U.S. announced that North Korea's possession of nuclear weapons poses a serious threat to national security. One reason these sanctions have not been effective is the fact that China, the primary ally and largest trading partner of North Korea, has continued to trade. Scholars today are debating whether or not the U.S. should continue its policy of economic sanctions against North Korea.

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History: How have economic sanctions worked in the past?

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Pro

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Con

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Effectiveness: How effective have economic sanctions been?

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Pro

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Con

  • Sanctions on North Korea have not been effective.
  • China will always stand in the way of sanctions on North Korea.




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National Security: Does North Korea pose a threat to our national security?

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Pro

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Con

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Global Image: Do sanctions on North Korea damage the world image of the United States?

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Pro

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Con

  • Economic sanctions make the U.S. appear hostile.
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Economics: Are economic sanctions beneficial to our economy?

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Pro

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Con

  • Economic sanctions on North Korea negatively impact our economy.





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Public Opinion: Does public opinion support sanctions on North Korea?

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Pro

  • Some polls find Americans support U.S. sanctions on North Korea.
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Con

  • Americans oppose U.S. sanctions on North Korea.

See also

External links and resources:

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