"As Mr. Tillerson emphasized, "the purpose of the maximum pressure campaign is intended to cause North Korea to engage as a credible negotiating partner in addressing a pathway to a denuclearization of the peninsula." Of course, the people who will feel the deepest pain of this maximum pressure are the most vulnerable of North Korea's population. Malnourished children will have less to eat, while the sick and elderly lose access to life-giving medicines.
In the unlikely event that North Korea's economy can be seriously destabilized by genuinely effective international sanctions this time, what is the more likely outcome? It's hard to imagine Kim Jung-un surrendering his nuclear weapons, thus undercutting his hold on power and ultimately leading to his going before International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity. A more plausible response is even more frenzied brandishing of his nuclear arsenal, threatening the unthinkable in order to save himself from the humiliation of a trial followed by a lifetime of incarceration in the Hague."