Sanctions Against North Korea Summary

Despite North Korea having lots of space when it comes to development and digital innovations, businesses have to be aware of their threats when they are looking for opportunities.

Businesses can't do business with North Korea because of the sanctions on the country and its closed economy. 

Sanctions Against North Korea Summary

North Korea maintains its economy for a long time as it carries the heavy burden of international sanctions. World powers have imposed economic and financial sanctions for more than a dozen years to force North Korea to disinfect nuclear weapons. These governments also imposed sanctions to punish the regime of cyberattacks, money laundering, and human rights violations. North Korea is mostly subject to sanctions by the UN and the United States. Currently, many sanctions are related to North Korea's nuclear weapons program.


The UN imposed sanctions on North Korea primarily on economic cooperation. Here is a list of some of the prohibited activities

  • Opening bank branches and bank accounts in North Korea for the EU members.
  • Importing pretty much all of the luxurious goods.
  • Freezing the assets of people participating in the country's nuclear program; 
  • Trade machinery from military equipment to industrial machinery and vehicles.
  • Exporting minerals, electrical equipment, food, textiles, and wood.
  • Cooperating in terms of scientific and technical activities between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the United Nations (UN). 

The United States has implemented unilateral sanctions on North Korea that have restricted more economic activity and targeted a more comprehensive list of people and activities than the UN-imposed sanctions on North Korea. Some of the additional sanctions the United States imposed on North Korea are:

  • Donald Trump issued an Implementation Order that allowed the United States to freeze assets of any company, business, organization, and individual that trades goods, services, or technology with North Korea.
  • The US government can seize any property belonging to the Korean Workers' party or the North Korean government if it appears to be under their jurisdiction.
  • Obligated sanctions for entities trading North Korea's metal or mineral trade.

International relations between the DPRK and The Republic of Korea have improved since March 2018. As a result, North Korea started to open its economy more to South Korea.