Listeners to our webinar on Wednesday will recall the discussion of the sanctions in play against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, also known as North Korea). Of particular interest to the global business community had been the forthcoming summit between President Trump of the United States and Kim Jong Un, Leader of the DPRK, set to take place on 12 June in Singapore. The world was watching to see if, and how, this summit would affect North Korea’s position in the world and in particular whether it might herald any changes in the significant sanctions in place against it.
President Trump yesterday cancelled that meeting, stating that it is “inappropriate” in the current circumstances. This announcement comes the same day that the DPRK invited the world’s media to watch the apparent destruction of its nuclear weapons development site at Punggye-ri. Immediately after pulling out of the meeting with North Korea, President Trump said that the United States would continue its “maximum pressure campaign,” and noted that the military was “ready if necessary”. He further stated that a meeting could still go forward if Kim Jong Un is willing to engage constructively.
We will report on this situation as it develops. For now, it seems that there is unlikely to be significant change in the U.S. sanctions regime against the DPRK.