Columbia International Affairs Online: Policy Briefs

CIAO DATE: 02/2009

North Korean Relations: U.S. Policies, Laws & Regulations

Kenneth Katzman

March 2007

Atlantic Council


This compendium contains the text of major regulations, laws, and other documents governing U.S. interactions with North Korea. Also provided are the text of U.N. Resolutions, agreements, and other documents that represent major policy decisions in U.S. relations with North Korea. Accompanying each major document, law, or regulation is a brief analysis discussing the policy reflected by that document and major significance of the provisions of the law or regulation promulgated.

As discussed in this compendium, changes in U.S. sanctions over time appear to reflect variations in U.S. approaches to North Korea and its nuclear program - at times reflecting a policy of engagement but at other times displaying a U.S. strategy of trying to isolate North Korea. The documents presented in this compendium demonstrate the wide latitude any U.S. Administration has in implementing sanctions on any country and the corresponding discretion to remove these sanctions.

Since the Korean War, North Korea has been viewed as a potential threat not only by the United States, but also by several major countries in northeast Asia. Although the United States, its allies in Asia, and other Asian countries might sometimes differ on how to deal with North Korea, the United States is not the only country that has imposed sanctions on North Korea. This compendium does not include sanctions laws and regulations imposed by other countries, but it does include U.N. Security Council resolutions that impose sanctions on North Korea. These Resolutions are considered binding on U.N. member states.