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Are UN Sanctions Against North Korea Working? – Voice of America (blog)

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United Nations’ economic restrictions ordered against North Korea in March have produced mixed results.

Prices for goods in North Korea have remained stable. Reports note that business has slowed at the economic development zones. These zones were designed to appeal to foreign investment.

Lim Eul-chul is a professor of Korean Studies at Kyungnam University in South Korea. He spoke with VOA’s Korean Service. He said economic activity decreased in two development zones near the Chinese border in the last five months.

Lim said China had planned to invest in the Mubong Economic Development Zone and the Onsung Island Economic Development Zone. But development in the zones stopped after China took part in the U.N. sanctions against North Korea.

The U.N. sanctions increased financial restrictions on companies that do business with North Korea. The United States also ordered sanctions against North Korea. They include measures to seize money and property from organizations and individuals involved with North Korean industries.

Adam Cathcart is an East Asia expert at Leeds University in Great Britain. He said that even without sanctions, international companies are reluctant to invest in North Korea’s economic development zones. He added the zones do “not provide enough infrastructure.”

China slowdown

China is important to the North Korean economy. Close to 90 percent of North Korean trade flows either to or through China.

Last year, North Korean exports dropped almost…



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