Journal of Social and Political


ISSN 2615-3718 (Online)

ISSN 2621-5675 (Print)

Published: 01 August 2019

Legislative Authority of U.S Unilateral Economic Sanctions Against the Democratic People`s Republic Of North Korea (DPRK)

Frederick Appiah Afriyie

Zhongnan University of Economics and Law

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Pages: 570-581

Keywords: Legislative Authority, Unilateral Economic Sanctions, Foreign Policy, Denuclearization, Demilitarized Zone, Dictatorial Regime


Unilateral economic sanctions have become one of the most significant foreign policy tools used by most powerful developed nations across the globe. Some of these countries include Japan, Canada, Australia, and others. However, the United States (US) and European Union (EU), in particular, are very ardent users, having placed unilateral sanctions on North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, and partially on Russia, among others. It is an alternative to military intervention, war, or conflicts. Among these strong nations, the US is one country that applies unilateral sanctions than any other country in the world. Also, various successive US administrations have used this foreign policy tool one way or the other. Further, unilateral sanctions have become more popular in recent decades, and currently, the US has nearly 8000 sanctions in place worldwide, Iran and North Korea by far the largest state target. Though sanctions have existed for a long time, they still remain controversial international foreign policy tools. Notwithstanding, US application of unilateral economic sanctions by both present and previous successive administration is backed by legal authority including the trading with the enemy act (TWEA), the United Nations Participation Act (UNPA), the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA). Nevertheless, there is legal controversy surrounding unilateral sanctions among critics and proponents, who are entrenched in the position that the developed countries used sanctions against smaller countries, including North Korea. What is more, this argument of controversy is still ongoing, and there seems to be no agreement between critics and proponents. This paper, therefore, provides a legal basis for unilateral sanctions used by the US against other countries, in particular, North Korea. Also, we will elaborate on the justification or otherwise of the legitimacy of US unilateral sanctions against North Korea. The paper is divided into four sections. The first section of this paper elaborates on the introduction, relations between North Korea and the US. Also, it highlights a general overview of unilateral sanctions and US unilateral sanctions on North Korea. The second section deals with the questions: Why do countries such as the US impose unilateral economic sanctions? What other bodies impose sanctions on North Korea? The third part deals with international concern about North Korea, and the fourth part also talks about certainties and issues that make North Korea a worldwide concern. The final part looks at U.S. Legislative Authority and justification or otherwise of the legitimacy of U.S unilateral sanctions


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