Aid Groups Warn Sanctions Are Hampering North Korea Operations

Getting Medical Equipment, Funding Projects a Challenge

US-led efforts to impose ever more sanctions against North Korea have had little impact on North Korea’s top leadership, but they are being felt by the average North Korean civilian, according to aid groups.

With some 70% of North Koreans food insecure and medical aid badly needed in many parts of the country, aid groups say that the international sanctions are making it ever more difficult to provide even basic humanitarian aid in the country.

Getting medical equipment shipped into North Korea is a struggle, and transferring money into the country to pay for any sort of aid projects s virtually impossible, UN special rapporteur Tomas Quintana is pushing for the UN Security Council to start assessing the impact of their sanctions on humanitarian agencies.

Whether that happens or not remains to be seen, but with the US hyping the mounting “threat” posed by North Korea, anything that actually gets food or medicine to North Koreans is likely to be seen as a distraction.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.