North Korea: Legislative Basis for U.S. Economic Sanctions [September 29, 2010]   [open pdf - 283KB]

This document outlines sanctions placed by the United States against North Korea, and briefly outlines the consequences for U.S.-North Korea relations. From the report: "Since the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950, the United States had imposed fairly comprehensive economic, diplomatic, and political restrictions on North Korea. On June 26, 2008, however, when multilateral negotiations appeared to be making progress toward North Korea disabling and dismantling its nuclear weapons enterprise, President George W. Bush removed restrictions based on authorities in the Trading With the Enemy Act and the terrorism designation, replacing them with more circumscribed economic restrictions related to proliferation concerns. Other statute-based restrictions, however, sustain a fairly comprehensive sanctions regime on North Korea. The U.S. sanctions in place are a result both of requirements incorporated into U.S. law by Congress and decisions made in the executive branch to exercise discretionary authorities. Though the President, in accordance with the Constitution, leads the way in conducting foreign policy, Congress holds substantial power to shape foreign policy by authorizing and funding programs, advising on appointments, and specifically defining the terms of engagement in accordance with U.S. political and strategic interests. This report presents the legislative basis for U.S. sanctions policy toward North Korea. These sanctions are a critical tenet of the larger bilateral relationship, and this report highlights Congress's role and responsibility in determining the nature of U.S.-North Korea relations. This report focuses on U.S. law and does not address the impact or effectiveness of the sanctions; several other reports available from CRS address these matters. See Appendix A for a selected list of other CRS products relating to U.S.-North Korea relations."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R41438
Public Domain
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