By restoring diplomatic ties with Cuba, President Barack Obama clearly admitted that Washington’s five-decade-old strategy of isolating the Caribbean nation had failed. So why is the White House doubling down on a similar policy toward North Korea?

On Jan. 2, the U.S. president levied additional sanctions on Pyongyang for the alleged hacking of Sony’s computer network. The new measures are largely symbolic, targeting 10 officials and three state organizations the U.S. says play key roles in cyber attacks, weapons proliferation and other illicit activities. Yet there’s little reason to believe even stronger sanctions might unseat North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un — any more than they did his father Kim Jong Il or, for that matter, the Castro dynasty in Cuba.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.