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OPINION: US Sanctions Boost on North Korea is Flawed Policy

© Sputnik / Marc BennetsСentral square in Pyongyang
Сentral square in Pyongyang - Sputnik International
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A move by US legislators to increase sanctions on North Korea is out of step with efforts by countries in the region and is not likely to have an impact on Pyongyang, according to an expert.

NEW YORK, May 29 (RIA Novosti) – A move by US legislators to increase sanctions on North Korea is out of step with efforts by countries in the region and is not likely to have an impact on Pyongyang, according to an expert.

Dr. Ramon Pacheco Pardo, a lecturer at King's College London, criticised efforts by US House Foreign Affairs Committee lawmakers to boost US sanctions on Pyongyang by making it more difficult to secure hard currency for manufacturing weapons.

The move – a proposed amendment to the North Korea Sanctions Enforcement Act of 2013 – was being discussed by the US House Foreign Affairs Committee in Washington on Thursday. If accepted, it will need to pass though both houses of Congress.

“The Kim Jong Un government seems intent in introducing some economic reforms and upgrading the country’s infrastructure,” Pacheco Pardo told RIA Novosti. “Meanwhile, the South Korean and Japanese governments are looking at possible ways to engage with North Korea.

“As a result, any new sanctions introduced by the US would probably have a minor impact on North Korea, if any.”

North Korea has been under UN sanctions since its first nuclear test in 2006, banning it from conducting atomic and missile tests, barring government from weapons trade with Pyongyang and from financial transactions that facilitate them.

Pyongyang is also under unilateral sanctions from the US, Japan and other countries.

The meeting in Washington comes in the wake of Thursday’s landmark agreement between North Korea and Japan over re-opening an investigation into the fate of Japanese citizens that Pyongyang kidnapped decades ago.

Under the deal, Japan has agreed to ease some sanctions against North Korea once the probe is reopened and will consider providing humanitarian assistance depending on the results of the investigation.

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