Maybe one of these days governments around the world will learn that sanctions are not the answer when it comes to trying to curb the negative military actions and aspirations of another country. The sanctions against Russia over their activities in Ukraine have crippled their economy but done little to change their posture militarily. Iran, despite being crippled by economic sanctions for its pursuit of building nuclear weapons, continues to be a major destabilizing force in the Middle East. There is no better example that economic sanctions don’t work than North Korea itself, who despite having one of the poorest economies in the world just shrugs off the pressure of these sanctions and continues trying to improve its nuclear and long range missile capabilities. Its latest round of missile and nuclear tests will apparently hurt the country even more economically.
As tensions between North Korea and South Korea have risen to their highest point in many years, South Korea has once again decided that continuing to cripple North Korea’s economy even more is the best way to slow down their nuclear and long range missile ambitions. South Korea has decided to stop production at the factories that lay just inside North Korea’s border. These factories are a joint venture between Pyongyang and Seoul that is known as the Kaesong Industrial Complex. They are run by prominent South Korean businessmen and North Korean labor supplies the driving force for production at the complex. The complex itself was once touted as being a key bridge to bringing lasting peace and reconciliation to the Korean Peninsula.
Why does the closing hurt North Korea’s economy? Look no further than the fact that the Kaesong Industrial Complex employs some 54,000 North Korean workers. It has been a successful joint project that has considerably contributed to helping the North Korean economy, something that is very important to a nation whose yearly per capita income for its nearly 25 million residents is a paltry $1800 per person. The complex was one of the last remaining attempts at reconciliation between the two countries.
Tensions were further increased when the North Korean Army abruptly took over the complex after the South Korean announcement. They seized all the buildings, equipment and other assets of the businesses in the complex and also quickly expelled any foreign workers still there. These are moves which will definitely make it less likely that the complex will ever be reopened as part of a joint venture with the south.
After the tests, the United States Senate also quickly approved even more sanctions against the North Koreans in a move that will hurt the country’s economy even more and continue to isolate them from the rest of the world. Even North Korea’s close ally, the Chinese, criticized them over these latest missile and nuclear tests and warned them there could be consequences coming because of it.
As in the past, none of these economic sanctions will probably convince North Korean leaders to change course militarily and the rogue nation will continue to be a huge threat to the stability of the region.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.
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