As part of our ongoing project to document Central Intelligence Agency activities around the planet, we’re compiling a curated list of links to records in the CIA archives, divided by country and presidential administration. Today we’re looking at Asia-Pacific (East, Southeast, and South Asia and Oceania).
A year before U.S. imposed economic sanctions against North Korea, intelligence community concluded they wouldn’t work
1992 economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. against North Korea contributed to the collapse of an already fragile economy, and in two years the country was in the throes of a severe famine. Despite the mounting death toll, the sanctions were utterly ineffective in their goal of pressuring DPRK into ending their nuclear weapons program - exactly as a 1991 National Intelligence Council report predicted they would be.
While some outlets did briefly describe the Asia Foundation as being an alleged Central Intelligence Agency conduit, the charges were typically vague and largely circumstantial. None of the archived reports specifically tied it to Agency funds until March 21, 1967 when TAF announced it in a limited hangout”, a technique used when the Agency “can no longer rely on a phony cover story to misinform the public, they resort to admitting some of the truth while still managing to withhold the key and damaging facts in the case.”
The Asia Foundation is, on the surface, a private non-profit that contributes to the development of Asia, including donating millions of books. In reality, since it was created by Central Intelligence Agency in 1951, TAF has engaged in a decades long campaign to misrepresent its origins, purpose and funding.
Allegations that the CIA was participating in the global drug trade spurred one addiction non-profit to write the Agency about blanketing their work in the “meaninglessness of a Sisyphean labor.”