Our only good optionThe Mexican government on Thursday said it was expelling the North Korean ambassador as punishment for Pyongyang’s recent nuclear test. The British and Dutch governments called in North Korea’s top envoys to their nations to scorn the nation for its latest military action.
Foreign ministers of the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) issued a joint statement condemning North Korea’s nuclear and missile provocations. So far, 75 nations and organizations have joined the chorus decrying North Korea’s weapons program. The North Korean nuclear issue has surfaced as a common worry and danger for the global community.
A confidential report by a panel of UN experts reported to the UN Security Council earlier this month that two North Korean shipments to a Syrian government agency had been intercepted and that they had “reasons to believe the goods were part of a deal between Syria’s agency overseeing chemical weapons program and North Korea’s state arms dealer.”
The United States is said to have put together the most powerful UN sanctions by resorting to all possible international means except for military action to pressure North Korea. The new package reportedly could destabilize the state.
It is said to propose a complete embargo on oil supplies, a ban on payments to North Korean guest workers, and sharing of the list of sanctioned vessels with all member countries.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s name would be singled out as a target for freezing his overseas assets and he would face a travel ban. The United States plans to put its draft to a vote on Monday. But the strong new package can see daylight only when UN Security Council standing members China and Russia give their endorsement.
Their cooperation and compliance is pivotal, as they are the only few remaining trade partners of North Korea. Many are skeptical about whether it will indeed pass, however, because it is so harsh. But Beijing hinted it could agree to some extent.
U.S. President Donald Trump sounded hopeful after a phone conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping, saying, “Xi would like to do something.” Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi also said Beijing supports additional sanctions.
Xi maintains that a peaceful solution is the only way. Maximum pressure is part of a peaceful solution. Doing everything possible is the only way to stop North Korea without taking the deadly military option.
JoongAng Ilbo, Sept. 9, Page 30.