Quote from Swiss sanction on North Korea:

Any scientific and technical cooperation with persons or groups officially sponsored by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea or representing the Democratic People's Republic of Korea shall be suspended; with the exception of cooperation in the medical field.

Does this mean Swiss academics/editors cannot review/handle North Korean papers, unless the field is medicine? If yes: which other countries also has a similar sanction in place? If no: are there any countries which does have such a sanction?

Related: Does Iran's sanction play a pivotal role in rejecting papers from a journal?, but this question is for a different sanctioned country.

  • 1
    Please define "North Korean papers". For example, a North Korean researcher can in principle work on the climate of North Korea and even apply for Swiss funding: eda.admin.ch/eda/en/fdfa/representations-and-travel-advice/… North Korean researchers are eligible to apply for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.
    – EarlGrey
    Jun 23, 2023 at 9:27
  • @EarlGrey North Korean paper: a paper in which at least one author has a North Korean affiliation.
    – Allure
    Jun 23, 2023 at 9:28
  • corrected the title.
    – EarlGrey
    Jun 23, 2023 at 9:32
  • To me it reads like the government shouldn't sponsor such cooperation, not that such cooperation is banned in the sense that the academic would go to jail if they violate this rule. Sep 6, 2023 at 1:25

2 Answers 2


This Swiss sanction is actually the implementation of UN security council resolution 2321.

The Security Council [...]

  1. Decides that all Member States shall suspend scientific and technical cooperation involving persons or groups officially sponsored by or representing the DPRK except for medical exchanges


This resolution is binding according to international law. I haven't found a list which countries have actually implemented the resolution, but I assume such list will consist of at least most countries from the Western world.

  • 1
    When it comes to countries like Israel or Russia that have been targeted by broad sanctions movements but are somewhat prominent, many people defend the value of free basic scientific collaboration to humanity over any marginal benefit from trying to use it as a tool for political pressure, but with a country like the DPRK, everyone, even China, just goes ahead! Quod licet Iovi, no licet bovi?
    – Obie 2.0
    Jun 24, 2023 at 4:56
  • Your link is broken. Also, does this apply to individuals or only governments? Jul 12, 2023 at 15:21
  • @Obie2.0 There is a big difference because it is the policy of North Korea to always prioritize the military. I do not know if North Korea has any significant scientific activity, but if it does, then it would prioritize the military. Also, North Korea has a policy of not relying on other countries. As a result, this sanction could be considered retaliation rather than coercion. Jul 12, 2023 at 15:23
  • @AnonymousPhysicist thank you, I hope the new link is more stable. The resolution applies to states only, since it clearly states it applies to "all Member States". As I wrote, I assume that most states from the Western world will have implemented the resolution in their national law, which probably will apply to individuals.
    – LuckyPal
    Jul 13, 2023 at 7:08

The European Union ratified on February 2017 the additional sanctions against the DPRK: transposition of UN sanctions (UNSC resolution 2321), including

the measures to suspend scientific and technical cooperation, except for medical exchanges

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