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[Editorial] EO Showing Way Forward for Sanctions

 |  2010-09-01 15:51
On Monday, the U.S. moved to place new pinpoint sanctions on the Kim Jong Il regime.

Among the most eye-catching targets of the new sanctions regime are the General Bureau of Reconnaissance (RGB) and the No. 39 Department of the Central Committee of the Party. Additionally, Green Pine Associated Corporation, a conventional arms dealer under the control of the RGB, and the Director of the RGB Kim Yong Chol also made the list.

Issuing the new executive order to enhance the existing sanctions regime, President Obama clarified that the move is a response to the Cheonan incident as well as a strike against long standing illicit activities undertaken by the North Korean regime, and added that it targets the regime and its leadership, not the people at large.

The new EO can be labeled pinpoint because it is aimed right at the core of the Kim Jong Il regime.

Kim Jong Il has maintained his totalitarian dictatorship for so long by holding three groups hostage.

The first is the 23 million North Korean residents. The Kim Jong Il regime has enslaved and used them to reinforce its absolutist Suryeong-centered system.

The second is South Korea. The North has raised tensions in the region in the Military-first era by threatening the South and developing nuclear weapons, while still receiving economic aid. It has not even admitted to the existence of abductees and POWs.
The third hostage is the international community; especially Japan.

However, the international community has never before sanctioned the Kim Jong Il regime properly because they did not know its ins and outs well enough.

But, since the imposition of UN Security Council Resolution 1874, the international community has been heading in the right direction, and now the U.S. has accurately targeted the Kim Jong Il regimes lifeline.

The sources of the regimes energy are, first, the Military-first political line and, second, its finances, both illegal and legally obtained.

Releasing the new EO on Monday, U.S. Treasury Under Secretary Stuart Levey stated, Additional actions we will take in the weeks and months to come are aimed at disrupting North Korea's efforts to engage in illicit activities and its ability to surreptitiously move its money by deceiving banks and smuggling cash worldwide.

If his expression be any guide, the U.S. administration has figured out exactly the nature of the Kim regime. Ability to surreptitiously move its money by deceiving banks implies that the U.S. knows that the Kim regimes slush funds are held and moved in collusion with corrupt powers in China or other countries.

In order to implement the new sanctions, cooperation with China is necessary. Since the EO is only a U.S. domestic order, it primarily deters U.S. banks and enterprises from making deals with the targets of sanctions, but also forces third country financial organs and companies that have contracts with U.S. organizations to pay attention.

The key point is to make banks and companies cut off North Korea, so the cooperation of the governments where the banks are placed can be decisive. As a consequence, the U.S. administration needs to watch closely the targets of the sanctions and other related countries as well, in order for the EO to make a difference.

Japan and the EU, as well as South Korea, should pay close attention to how the U.S. Executive Order works out.
 
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