President Bush's decision last week to lift some U.S. sanctions against North Korea in response to its nuclear disclosures will not significantly reduce barriers to doing business with that country contrary to what many news stories have suggested.
The President's decision will lift sanctions only on
(1) the involvement of persons located in the United States with military- and nuclear related exports from a foreign country to North Korea, and
(2) the importation of products from North Korea.
The United States, however, will still require a license for most U.S. exports and reexports to North Korea of military- and nuclear-related products and for any other item subject to the Export Administration Regulations. Furthermore, it is still U.S. policy to deny most applications for U.S. exports or reexports to North Korea of military- and nuclear-related products and of luxury goods. The limited reprieve President Bush gave North Korea last week shows North Korea will have to reveal much more information about its nuclear program before the United States removes any significant restrictions on North Korean trade.
(Reference: BIS Q&A for North Korea Export License: http://www.bis.doc.gov/policiesandregulations/regionalconsiderations/north_korea_questions.pdf )