In light of North Korea’s October 10 military parade, Markus Garlauskas, the former US National Intelligence Officer for North Korea and nonresident senior fellow with the Asia Security Initiative, published an article on October 22 on 38 North, proposing a new framework of assessing the effectiveness of US sanction on North Korea. He argues that “such a framework would need to be based upon a common understanding of the strategic objectives to be supported or achieved by sanctions” and outlined three categories and ten sub-categories that could be used for assessment.
It might not even be possible to agree on a single framework, but may lead to several competing frameworks—which would at least provide a better basis for debate and policy deliberations. What is clear, however, is that the current approach of “dueling narratives” on North Korea sanctions is not working.
Absent a more rigorous and transparent system for measuring the efficacy of sanctions along the lines outlined above, discussions of a new US policy and strategy toward North Korea are likely to remain on a shaky foundation.