Like in the case of Ukraine, the European Union is taking actions against North Korea and blacklisted officials and companies related to these officials. The blacklisted officials includes Kim Tong Un and Jon Il Chon (responsible of the 38 office of the Central Committee of the Korean Workers Party), Ri Kwang Gun (a former North Korean economic advisor at the North Korean embassy in Berlin), people associated to illegal activities. Nevertheless it’s very hard to determine exactly the responsibility of some persons in the policy of North Korea. It may also leads to confusions (such as the blacklisting of North Korean “liberal” officials). I do believe that the UN knows who they should blacklist (especially using the advanced knowledge of NK leadership watchers).
What is the reaction of the North Korean government? Logic in any matters. They replaced people I mentioned before and replaced them with people who are not forbidden in the European Union. This was the case with Kim Tong Un who was replaced by Jon Il Jon until he was not blacklisted by the United Nations. Therefore it may be more efficient to blacklist only economical organizations and Party structures instead of blacklisting people (who can also easily disappear).
These sanctions lead to increasing dangerous situation on the Korean peninsula. Sanctioning organizations and people mean also sanctioning North Korean citizens who are working within these organizations. Some of them may have families, children and a descent life in North Korea. Should they be casualties of the United Nations sanctions?
Another result of sanctions will be a drop in foreign direct investments. According to lawyers based in Pyongyang, the interest of European companies on the North Korean market is decreasing.
The reduction of European investments in North Korea is leading to another situation. There is an increase of Asian investments in North Korea. Companies which are interested in the North Korean market are especially from Singapore, Thailand and India. Moreover, some of officials of these countries recently visited North Korea and met with officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of North Korea (the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is also responsible for FDI in North Korea). The “asiatisation” of North Korea is now a true fact. One of the key organizations which are leading trainings for North Korean elites is from…Singapore. No signs of European presence.