What if North Korea Conducts a 6th Nuclear Test?
Korea Chair Snapshot
April 21, 2017
While the Trump administration may be reviewing all options, including military ones, in its North Korea policy, a sixth nuclear weapons test will likely compel the U.S. and the international community to respond with heightened sanctions. Such a package might include:
Increased sectoral sanctions
– Cut off petroleum exports (i.e. crude oil) to North Korea and impose
a complete embargo on all coal shipments being bought from or sold to
North Korea. The
current UN sanctions
allow some coal trade but with a yearly cap.
Transportation / shipping sanctions
– Institute a global ban prohibiting Air Koryo from transiting airports
around the world. North Korea’s state-run airline is used to transport
bulk cash, luxury goods, and materials for Pyongyang’s illicit
– Design a regime to inspect and interdict North Korean vessels sailing
on the high seas instead of merely at port stops.
Targeted trade sanctions
– Embargo agricultural products among UN member states such as ginseng
and seafood being imported from North Korea to earn foreign currency
for the regime.
– Implement a worldwide ban among UN member states on the use of North
Korean forced labor to earn currency for the regime.
Imposition and enforcement of financial sanctions/secondary
– Unilaterally pursue more sanctions designations for individuals and
organizations in 3rd party countries (
) that facilitate North Korean money laundering, re-export of
materials, or illicit activities that help build their nuclear weapons
program. Have the Justice and Treasury Departments seek further
listings of Chinese nationals and banks that facilitate illegal North
Korean transactions to institute fines and indictments.
State sponsor of terrorism
– Relist North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism.
Suspension of diplomatic credentials
– Consider an effort to suspend North Korea's diplomatic credentials as
a member state in the United Nations.
Involvement of Southeast Asia and Europe
– Encourage Southeast Asian and European countries to take punitive steps
against North Korean missions under suspicion for transacting illicit
activities on behalf of the regime.
Photo credit: Woohae Cho/Getty Images