On December 22, 2017, the United Nations Security Council passed another round of brutal sanctions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Although the United States government was the main proponent of Resolution 2397 (2017), it passed with the unanimous vote of all 15 member-states of the Security Council.
These genocidal sanctions are the third to be passed in the UN Security Council this year, amounting to a 90% reduction in the amount of oil that North Korea can import as compared to 2016, while also imposing ruthless restrictions on the import and export of food, as well as agricultural, industrial and manufactured goods. Effectively, they amount to an economic and financial blockade of the country. As well, these new regulations introduce targeted sanctions against 15 North Korean officials, and call for the re-patriation of North Koreans working in other countries within the next 24 months, which will cut off a vital source of income for many families.
The U.S. government and their imperialist allies claim that these sanctions are the only way to put an end to North Korea’s nuclear program. In reality, whether imposed by the United States or the United National Security Council, sanctions are a weapon of killing people. These ruthless sanctions escalate tensions between the United States and the DPRK. They also further punish the people and government of North Korea for taking a stand as an independent country and refusing to follow the orders of the United States government.
The U.S. government will stop at nothing, at no amount of human suffering, to destroy independent governments in order to gain imperialist hegemony over every part of the globe. Iraq is an example of how little human lives matter to the imperialist policy of sanctions and war. Prior to the 2003 invasion, over 1.5 million people in Iraq died as a direct result of 13 years of vicious sanctions by the U.S. and UN Security Council, including more than 500,000 children. Then, the U.S. government and their allies invaded, killing millions more and tearing the country apart at the seams. Other independent countries are also strangled under the mass punishment of sanctions. For nearly 60 years the people of Cuba have been under an cruel and inhuman U.S. blockade that continues to deny Cubans access to life-saving medicines and costs the Cuban economy more than $4.3 billion each year.