Mixing carrots with sticksThe United Nations Security Council is expected to adopt a resolution to impose sanctions on North Korea today or tomorrow, three weeks since North Korea conducted a nuclear test.
The resolution is stern. It includes a ban on imports and exports of weapons, inspections of North Korean cargo vessels and financial sanctions.
The resolution can put heavy pressure on North Korea if it is implemented properly as the 192 UN member states are expected to abide by the resolution.
We believe it is appropriate for the UN Security Council to adopt the resolution because it reveals international society’s determined will to deter North Korea from its nuclear ambitions.
We expect all UN member states to participate in carrying out the resolution. Particularly, the participation of China, a country that has strong influence over North Korea politically and economically, is absolutely necessary. The South Korean government must try to persuade China.
The Security Council’s resolution to impose sanctions on North Korea will not resolve the nuclear issue in one fell swoop. But North Korea must be asked to pay the price for having posed a direct threat to peace on the Korean Peninsula, Northeast Asia and the rest of the world.
This is potentially one of the most fruitful ways of preventing further provocative acts from North Korea and a means of drawing the country back to the negotiation table. This is the lesson that the past 20 years has taught us, ever since North Korea’s nuclear issue emerged as an international issue.
We believe that international society’s response to North Korea has failed so far to produce tangible results. We have not seen a good combination of carrots and sticks; we’ve only seen carrots and then sticks.
The new resolution by the U.S. Security Council must not be pretense, again. What we need to see is action.
We believe that incentives are still necessary. But if we only come up with arbitrary measures targeting whatever situation North Korea finds itself in, such as a food crisis, just as we have done so far, North Korea will inevitably take advantage of the situation.
Instead, we have to show North Korea what benefits it can enjoy if it joins the rest of the world. And we need to establish an international aid system to help North Korea land softly in addition to implementing discipline.
We advise our government to try to bring together the other five members of the six-party talks, even if North Korea remains determined to stay away.