New UN Sanctions Against North Korea Likely to Impact Civilians, Not Government

Fuel Cuts Will Hit 'Non-Essential' Industries Hardest

The latest round of UN sanctions against North Korea, imposed last week, see a substantial limitation on processed oil products, like diesel fuel, and a 24 month order for all North Koreans working overseas to return to the country.

The sanctions were unanimous among the UN Security Council, including rare support from China and Russia. North Korea was harshly critical all the same, terming it an “act of war.

Still, experts say the new sanctions, like so many UN sanctions, are going to do a lot more harm to the average civilian in the destitute country than they will the government itself. The limitations on fuel, for instance, mean what fuel they can import will be given to priority consumers like the military, while more civilian uses will be termed “non-essential.”

This has been a long-standing problem with international sanctions worldwide. Governments are necessarily in a much better position to circumvent society-wide sanctions, and far from weakening them, such sanctions end up straining the average citizen and making them more dependent on the government for basic support, increasing the government’s control over the population.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of