Saturday, October 14, 2006

UN Threatens to Slap North Korea on the Wrist Harder

Earlier today, the UN Security Council voted to impose harsher sanctions against North Korea. From the articles I have seen, this includes the following:

1) A complete ban on the sale of “luxury goods” to North Korea. That means no more lobster tail, fine cigars, or expensive wine for the “Dear Leader”.
2) A ban on the sale of conventional weapons to North Korea. This is limited to major conventional weapons.
3) A demand that North Korea immediately return to the six-nation talks.
4) A promise of no military action from the United Nations.

I am impressed that we actually got a resolution from the Security Council. China has already said it won’t impose the ban on its dealing with North Korea, but at least they voted for it. The US had wanted a ban on all conventional weapons. China and Russia weren’t willing to go along with the total ban, so the resolution was watered down. Ultimately, I am not sure either North Korea or Iran will be very deterred by this resolution.

I was listening to Rush Limbaugh this week. When talking about possible responses to North Korea’s nuclear test earlier in the week, he cited a John F. Kennedy speech about Cuba. President Kennedy (a Democrat) was telling the world what the US would do in response to a build up of nuclear weapons in Cuba. In part, President Kennedy said, “…It shall be the policy of this Nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the Western Hemisphere as an attack by the Soviet Union on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union.” Rush said that this would be the equivalent of the US saying that any launch by North Korea would result in America flattening North Korea. I think he is wrong. I think the equivalent, and the message President Bush needs to send is this: Any nuclear weapon fired from North Korea at any ally of the United States of America or NATO, will result in a “full retaliatory response” on China.

That might be the only way to really get China on board with a non-nuclear Korean peninsula.


Publius_Dogood said...

What do you do with a mean next door neighbor? You leave them alone. You stop playing with them, you stop talking with them. What should be do with North Korea? The same thing. Stop telling them to stop doing things. That just makes them want to do things. Ignore them. Stop buying things from them. When a question comes up in a press conference say "no comment" and ask for the next question. If you want a kid to act like an adult you have to treat them like one rather then sinking to their level.
The UN only works if people believe in its power. I do not think that N. Korea does. In that case no matter what the UN says will not matter to them, so just leave them alone.
If they feel that they with the 5th largest army in the world wants to take on the best military in the world and the other 3 or 4 largest militaries in the world, so be it.
They will lose.

Andy D said...

I agree with you 100% when it comes to mean neighbors. However, an evil regime that is trying to achieve nuclear power doesn't qualify as a mean neighbor. North Korea is a threat to any democracy on Earth. I don’t feel North Korea will hesitate to sell a nuclear weapon to Iran, or any number of terrorist groups.

As far as the UN, I think you are correct there. The UN only has power so long as nations comply with it. When you have any nation (whether it is North Korea, Iran, or Iraq under Saddam) ignore the UN, its ability to influence any nation is diminished. Will the UN enforce its resolutions within the framework of the UN charter? Will it simply get mad, issue a harsh word directed at the rogue nation, and move on? How the UN responds to a nuclear North Korea is critical to how other rogue nations view and interact with the UN and the free world.

Domesticated Dog said...

North Korea is a special picke in the jar. Cuba was getting nuclear weapons shipped to it from the "evil empire" of the day, whereas, North Korea is building the nuclear weapons capability - and the products of any such approach have the potential to be highly portable.

Because North Korea is an isolated nation by the choice of the "Dear Leader," there might be less likelihood that North Korea would have a desire to share the goods with its "friend." China is ion some ways the nearest thing that North Korea has to an ally.

As odd as it might seem,I understand why it would be important to place some more, or as you described, the pressure on China to get North Korea in line, since it appears that China holds a lot of cards wiht North Korea as a trade partner. To tell the truth, I wish I knew more about the international relationships that N. Korea maintains, but this is the best that I know at present.

This is a problem that is well beyond the UN. Pakistan ignores them, we ignore them, Russia ignores them, Iraq ignored them, Israel ignores them, etc... Pretty much every nation ignores the UN when it is in ther interest to do so. The UN has a limited ability to put teeth in its policies and the resolutions that they seem to come up work at the theoretical level, but fail to trickle down to the people in the regions that take action.

It sounds extreme - and I really don't care for Rush - but the safest course would be to remove the North Korea from the planet. No occupation... just annihiliation. Kim, in the end remains in power, because his people keep him in power. When was the last revolt in North Korea. And, the world community will complain about it for some time, but China will still probably sell us stuff (like the new cars they are planning to introduce to the US market and the software our comanies will be making there), because after they invade Taiwan, following our uni-lateral example, they will be hapy to get back to business as usual.

Andy D said...

I agree with you about the UN. Perhaps that should be the subject of another blog entirely...

Removing North Korea is simply not practical. Removing Kim Jung-il, might be very practical. Depending on the actions by the Bush administration, we might not even have to remove him. If enough pressure is placed on North Korea and China at the same time, the Koreans may remove their “Dear Leader”. However, the immediate problem is, “How do we handle a nuclear North Korea?” Regime change can be accomplished at a later date.

China is North Korea’s biggest alley. Without China, North Korea really is facing off against the rest of the world. China has too much of their economy tied to North Korea to allow too much to happen to North Korea. This brings me back to my original post; China must know that the world will tie the fates of North Korea and China together. If North Korea gives up its nuclear weapons program, we can tell the world that China was instrumental in accomplishing it. If North Korea hands out a nuke or two to our enemies, or fires a nuke at South Korea or Japan, whatever happens to North Korea must happen ten-fold to China.

China has in its power, today, the ability to remove nuclear weapons from North Korea. China will have blood on its hands if a North Korean nuclear bomb detonates anywhere.