North Korea has earned itself the ‘rogue state’ moniker due to its nuclear weapons program. As a result, North Korea has received sanctions from the UN and other organizations. The United Nations(UN) was formed in the aftermath of WWII to promote security and international peace, foster friendliness among nations, and enhance international cooperation. Accordingly, the UN is for disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.
In the UN model, the agencies concerned with nuclear issues fall under the United Nations Security Council. These agencies involved with security are Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CBTO), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the International Criminal Court (ICC), and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) (“The United Nations System”). Others are the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), and the World Trade Organization.
In most cases, countries ostensibly claim their nuclear weapons program is intended for energy. For example, North Korea’s nuclear weapons program was established in the 1980s for energy purposes (Fact Sheet). The country ratified the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in 1985, omitting required safeguards with IAEA and would wait until 1992 to do so (Fact Sheet). The IAEA would term the declaration incomplete and report North Korea to the UNSC; the country would withdraw from the NPT in 1993(Fact Sheet). In this example case, the IAEA is reported North Korea to the UNSC, which then imposed the sanctions.
Sanctions primarily involve limiting countries from engaging freely in trade. Sanctions from powerful nations and intergovernmental organizations such as the EU are even more potent than those of the UNSC. In 2013 resolution 2094 involved shutting North Korea out of the global financial system through money transfers (UN Security Council). After the fourth nuclear test in 2016, Resolution 2270 from the UNSC banned the export of vanadium, gold, rare earth minerals, and titanium (UN Security Council). After the launch of the Hwasong-15, Resolution 2397 limited crude oil and petroleum products (UN Security Council).
Under the Trump administration, the US had attempted to take a more conciliatory tone in a bid to get North Korea to soften its stand (In Hanoi, Trump). However, Trump’s efforts would bear no fruits, and within no time, North Korea would be back to its rogue ways prompting more sanctions (What Are the). Despite these sanctions, North Korea continues to find ways to circumvent them and occasionally succeeds.
The campaign against nuclear weapons is not just an effort by the UN. Many non-governmental organizations are also involved in the campaign with legal, humanitarian intentions against atomic weapons. An example of this organization is the American Alliance for Nuclear Accountability (Our Story). This organization is a network of national, regional, and local organizations collaborating on matters of nuclear weapons production and clean up of nuclear waste (Our Story|). A good proportion of these organizations live downstream and downwind of nuclear sites in the US. Members include Beyond Nuclear, Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety, and Coalition for Health Concerns.
International Governmental Organizations (IGOs) AND Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) are critical in maintaining order among states. One of the most vital IGOs is the UN that was formed in the aftermath of WWII. Since the goal of the UN is to foster peace among nations, automatically, they would be for nuclear disarmament. The UNSC is responsible for placing sanctions against states that contravene the NPT. North Korea has violated the NPT and has received many sanctions from nations, IGOs, and intergovernmental organizations. If peace is to prevail, the next step would be to equip the IGOs with more power against rogue states; it is time for a world government.
“Fact Sheet on DPRK Nuclear Safeguards.” IAEA. 2014. Web.
“In Hanoi, Trump Looks to Develop a ‘Phased’ North Korean Denuclearization.” YouTube, uploaded by PBS NewsHour, 2019. Web.
“Our Story.” Alliance for Nuclear Accountability. Web.
“The United Nations System.” United Nations. Web.
“UN Security Council Resolutions on North Korea.” Arms Control Association. Web.
“What Are the Impacts of the UN’s North Korean Sanctions?” YouTube, uploaded by PBS NewsHour, 2016. Web.