Sunday, October 15, 2006

World Reacts to North Korea


As well known, North Korea likely detonated a small nuclear device earlier this week. This nuclear test was immediately met with universal condemnation from the international community, with nations such as Japan and the United States immediately threatening both economic and military sanctions upon the reclusive hermit state.

On Saturday, the United Nations unanimously approved a resolution imposing penalties and sanctions upon North Korea. Even traditional allies such as China and Russia agreed to the sanctions. President Bush praised the resolution—calling it “swift and tough.” North Korea immediately rejected the resolution, calling it “gangster-like” and walked out of the council chambers.

The United Nations, by a 15-0 vote of the Security Council, called on Pyongyang to end all nuclear weapons programs. Furthermore, the resolution prohibited any UN member nation from involving themselves with nuclear or weapons of mass destruction trade with North Korea. The resolution allowed for various nations to inspect goods “as necessary” going in and out of North Korea. In a compromise with China and Russia, however, these stop and search inspections were not required—but left to individual discretion.

North Korea’s reaction was expected. Pyongyang’s delegate to the UN, derided the resolution, and stated that his country “totally rejects the unjustifiable resolution.” Furthermore, Pak Gil Yon, Pyongyang’s delegate, said that if the United States continued to increase pressure upon North Korea—the “DPRK will continue to take physical countermeasures, considering it as a declaration of war.” The DPRK ambassador, however, mentioned that bilateral negotiations may eventually conclude with a de-nuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

Will these sanctions make a real difference, as many of the nations engaging in the WMD and nuclear trade with North Korea may disregard the sanctions?
What are the ramifications of such a test—will this lead nations like South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan to also pursue their own nuclear weapons arsenals?

No comments: