UN tide turns against NorthThe United Nations Security Council has unanimously passed a new resolution, No. 1887, aimed at stopping the spread of nuclear weapons.
U.S. President Barack Obama and other members of the Security Council, including the permanent members China, Russia, France and Britain, supported the resolution.
It called for preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons and related materials, for UN members to take action to end nuclear testing, and for a strengthening of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
In particular, the resolution states that if a state that receives nuclear materials or related equipment doesn’t comply with the NPT or opts out of the treaty, then the country that provided those materials can seize them.
Also, the resolution urged states to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. This move puts the last touch on a vision of a nuclear-free world.
While North Korea and Iran weren’t directly mentioned in the resolution, state heads at the meeting pointed to those two countries as obstacles to a safe world.
It is not news that international efforts for denuclearization have been emphasized and highlighted. But, as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said, this was “a historic moment, a moment offering a fresh start toward a new future.”
President Obama stressed that “international law is not an empty promise, and treaties will be enforced.”
By doing so, Obama hinted at his intentions to deal firmly with the nuclear ambitions of North Korea and Iran. And with the endorsement of this resolution, there could be a new international agreement at next April’s NPT review summit, which is designed to strengthen the treaty.
North Korea should take note of this resolution. Considering the ever-growing international sentiment against nuclear weapons, the North’s “military first” politics can be sustained only for so long. The North can’t live while holding on to nuclear weapons. Its isolation in the international community will only deepen, and the North will again have to walk the same path of hardships, dealing with tens of thousands of deaths from hunger.
Today, the international community is urging North Korea to abandon nuclear weapons and is offering security assurances and economic aid in return, in the framework of the six-party dialogue.
North Korea must return to the six-party talks immediately. A nuclear weapons and military first policy will only lead to destruction.