Commentary Magazine


Might Something Actually Be Done About North Korea?

Here’s American ambassador to the UN, Susan rice talking about a UN effort to oppose North Korea:

“I think we are making progress and I am hopeful that in due course we will be producing a very worthy and strong resolution,” Rice told reporters after emerging from closed-door bargaining with envoys from Britain, China, France, Russia, Japan, and South Korea.

This is indistinguishable from the language we hear every time the Security Council convenes to give Kim Jong Il a demerit. (These resolutions, remember, are not just meaningless; they have to be fought for tooth-and-nail.) But perhaps the UN will produce something with teeth this time:

A Western diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that under consideration was extending the list of entities targeted for travel bans or financial sanctions.

In addition, a broader arms embargo, tougher inspections of cargo, a freeze on North Korean assets abroad and denial of access to the international banking and financial services were also being mulled, the diplomat said.

Members are aiming to produce a “compromise text” by tomorrow. So we shall see if Kim has taken a great stride toward his goal of deliverable nukes or if he’s finally overplayed his hand. And when clear thinkers like John Bolton believe there’s “a possibility” of getting China to apply real pressure you know the iron is hot. Taking steps to rein in Pyongyang would mark a long overdue start in reversing the strategic profligacy that’s characterized American foreign policy in the past two years. And putting North Korea back on the terrorism list would be a welcome return to reality.

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