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As time runs out, analysts doubt harsher sanctions can stop Pyongyang

Anthony Ruggiero
30th November 2017 - Quoted by Nirmal Ghosh - Straits Times

The United States has responded to North Korea's third test of an intercontinental ballistic missile, its most powerful yet, with a call for all nations to cut off diplomatic and trade ties with Pyongyang.

But events in North Korea are moving faster than the time it would take for sanctions to take effect, calling into question the viability of this strategy.\

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Reflecting the divide in Washington, Mr Anthony Ruggiero, a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, wrote on Thursday in an article for Fox News: "Critics will inevitably complain that economic sanctions the US has slapped on North Korea since President Trump took office are failing to stop the North from making progress on its missile and nuclear weapons."

But "such criticism is premature," he wrote. "There was no way that 10 months of getting tough on North Korea by the Trump administration could compensate for more than 10 years of paralysis and concessions by previous American presidents. Even the toughest sanctions need time to work."

"The Trump administration has not gone far enough and continues to pull its punches against Chinese banks that are the key to North Korea's continued sanctions evasion," he wrote.

"Perhaps President Trump fears Chinese retaliation if he takes a stronger stand."

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Tags

csif, north-korea, sanctions