Check out my new article at Policu. Also, be sure to check out the rest of the stuff at the site, it’s all great. Below is an excerpt, click the link to see the rest.
With less people than California, North Korea has the 197th lowest GDP in the world, yet until 2003, was responsible for over 1,400 provocations and the deaths 90 US servicemen. The U.S. has not retaliated; it provided North Korea with aid.
The country’s disproportionate military might and geostrategic location grant it freedom to vex the U.S. At 22.3%, North Korea has the largest defense budget per GDP on earth. Seoul, the capital of South Korea and an American ally, is an hour from the border; its ten million people would suffer tremendously in a conflict. Any attack could draw in China, Pyongyang’s backer. This reality has curbed American clout over the regime.
One strategy is economic sanctions. From 2003 to 2005, the State Department led the Illicit Activities Initiative (IAI), a law enforcement taskforce with the Treasury Department, targeting North Korea’s access to the world financial system. Meant to weaken the regime’s elites, its primary success was Banco Delta Asia (BDA), a bank in Macao involved with Pyongyang. During IAI’s peak in 2006, North Korea’s leader, then Kim Jong Il, told China’s president Hu Jintao, he feared sanctions would collapse his government.
Read the rest at the link.