It has been confirmed that North Korea has joined the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG), a law on international trade transactions. The North’s membership will become effective on April 1, 2020.
When the Dong-A Ilbo asked José Estrella-Faria, head of the Office of Legal Affairs of the United Nations’ International Trade Law Division, in an e-mail interview if he views the North’s joining of the CISG as Pyongyang’s preparatory move for joining international markets, the U.N. official said that while he could not predict any country’s policy direction, China and Vietnam joined the CISG in 1986 and 2015, respectively, to promote their market economy.
A source in Washington said that it is worth paying attention to the fact that the North joined a U.N. convention at a time when the world’s eyes are on what choice Pyongyang would take after the collapse of the Hanoi summit with the U.S.
However, some experts say that the North’s next moves should be closely watched. Bruce Klingner, a senior research fellow for Northeast Asia at the Heritage Foundation's Asian Studies Center, said that if the North pushes ahead with a satellite launch, the momentum for negotiations as well as the North’s move to get included in the international system would be frozen quickly. He noted that if Pyongyang conducts a satellite launch, claiming that it is for a peaceful purpose, the Trump administration would no other choice but to impose additional sanctions.