‘US sanctions won’t create friction within N Korean establishment’


US sanctions against North Korea is an attempt to create friction within the North Korean establishment but the move will not succeed, according to a western analyst.

Joaquin Flores, geostrategist and director at Center for Syncretic Studies, made the remarks in a phone interview with Press TV on Sunday.

The Obama administration imposed new sanctions on North Korea on Friday, two weeks after blaming the country for hacking into Sony Pictures Entertainment in November.

In a statement published by the state-run Korean Central News Agency on Sunday, a spokesman for the North Korean Foreign Ministry dismissed the US claims that Pyongyang was behind the cyber attack and accused the US of “groundlessly” stirring up hostility towards Asian nation.

Flores said Sony Pictures Entertainment’s involvement in the production of the anti-Korea film “The Interview” — which depicts the fictional assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un — shows “the bellicosity of the US establishment.”

“[I]t seems increasingly clear that North Korea was not involved in this [cyber attack] at all,” he added. “Not only has North Korea denied involvement but no evidence has been presented to the US public or international community at large.”

In an executive order, President Barack Obama imposed sanctions on top North Korean officials and defense-related organizations. White House officials termed the embargo the “first aspect” of the president’s promised “proportional” retaliation against North Korea.

Flores said that Obama’s “reasoning was bizarre and the sanctions were really merely symbolic.”

“In what can only be described in psychology as classical projection – where one projects their own motives and actions onto another – the US has declared that North Korea is acting in an irresponsible manner and is engaging in a some form of economic war of attrition against the US; and we are to believe this based upon the North Korea-Sony scandal – and this is quite strange,” he added.

“Now the scope of sanctions is also not really significant because the sanctions are aimed at individuals who happened to hold positions within several state-run companies, even though nominally the sanctions are aimed at companies themselves and so my thinking is that at the very most this is an attempt to create some tensions between trusted members of the North Korean establishment internally, but I don’t think that will succeed,” Flores emphasized.

He added that “the sanctions are not likely to produce any friction within the North Korean establishment,” because “US exports to North Korea are between one and two million a year which is really not significant,” while “Korea’s main trade partners are China and Russia and this will not change.”

“It is the US which is cutting itself off from the world and is acting in an increasingly strange and reactive way,” Flores concluded.

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