[EDITORIALS]North is cornered

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[EDITORIALS]North is cornered

Now that the United Nations resolution to sanction North Korea has been adopted, the United States, China and Japan are to implement sanctions on the communist country. Japan has banned North Korean ships from entering its ports and will not import goods from North Korea.
The United States is to send its secretary of state to South Korea, China and Japan in order to discuss how to step up pressure on the North.
In particular, China is taking striking moves. The branch of the Bank of China in Dandong, a city on the border with the North, yesterday banned transferring money to the North.
Barbed wire was installed for the first time in Dandong in order to block North Koreans from crossing the border. China is taking measures that would not be understandable if it had a friendly relationship with North Korea.
North Korea should understand what this international pressure means. China will do its best until the last moment to prevent the North Korean regime from collapsing. But China will not accept the North having nuclear arms.
If Japan also goes nuclear and Northeast Asian countries spend more money on their militaries, that will not be in China’s interest. China is preparing measures in case North Korea’s regime begins to crumble; military drills are constant near the border. The installation of barbed wire is another move for the purpose of controlling a North Korean collapse.
South Korea’s government needs to change its stance on the North. Even if the Roh administration keeps a soft-line approach, it cannot keep giving aid that the North wants.
The South Korean government cannot start sending rice and fertilizer again, nor continue economic cooperation projects. North Korea will inevitably be besieged by international society unless it changes its course.
North Korea plans to endure this. But it has been complaining for the last year about $24 million that have been frozen in a Macao bank. Then how can it survive years of international sanctions that will be much more severe than the loss of $24 million?
North Korea should see the harsh reality that will follow international sanctions and should change its course. It should abandon its plan to change the situation by a provocative “physical move,” such as an additional nuclear test. That is the only way for the North Korean regime to survive.
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