Kim, the economy and why UN sanctions did not bring North Korea to the summit table

Although UN sanctions have limited growth, North Korea’s financial health – and the physical health of its people – seem to be stabilising

By Lee Jeong-ho
03 June, 2018

If top officials in Washington and Tokyo are to be believed, the application of “maximum pressure” through United Nations sanctions was decisive in bringing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to the summit table.

Pyongyang has been the target of a string of UN bans from trade to travel for more than a decade, the toughest coming in September when they were expanded to cover crude oil.

Just six months later Kim sent a message offering to meet US President Donald Trump with no strings attached.

Senior US and Japanese officials credited the offer in large part to the international sanctions, which they maintained had battered the already beleaguered North Korean economy.