China And South Korea Bail Out On North Korean Sanctions
The United Nations system is failing us again in the aftermath of North Korea's nuclear test. Already, China and South Korea are using imprecise terms in the wording of the U.N. Security Council's resolution on sanctions to indicate it will be business as usual for them with the Kim Jong Il regime. In order to escape a veto, the U.S. had to agree to allow the resolution to request, not require, actions against North Korea.
The consequence is that once again, the U.N. has fallen on its face. In recent years, this woebegotten organization has proved more a facilitator of tyranny and even genocide than a control over it. Now, in the case of North Korea, and probably Iran as well, the U.N. is proving useless in stopping nuclear proliferation.
What we saw in Rwanda, in Darfur, in East Timor and so forth we are now seeing again: the incapacity of an international organization to take any meaningful steps to keep the peace.
North Korea, in short, seems to have gotten away with it, despite all the vows of President Bush, the Japanese governent and others that they would not accept or tolerate a North Korean nuclear weapon. In fact, there are now signs of a possible second North Korean test.
Even the U.S. shows little sign thus far of following through with permitted inspections of North Korean vessels to prevent an arms trade which threatens stability far beyond the area of East Asia.
We live in a time, due in part to the Iraq war and all the difficulties it has caused for the U.S., when very large numbers are adopting a policy of escapism: They foolishly contend now that North Korea is really not our business. They say we should let South Korea or China handle the problem.
The trouble with that policy is that North Korea's number one target in the world, after South Korea perhaps, is the United States.
A North Korean atomic bomb is threat enough to us, but if that bomb is sold to terrorists, or if the knowhow ie exported to foreign countries, some day there may be a nuclear explosion somewhere in America, and we won't even know the origin. For it's certain that the most foolproof way of delivering a nuclear weapon is not by missile but by smuggling it in to another country and then detonating it.
This is why we can't turn our heads. Contrary to those who say we can afford to withdraw from world power conflicts and then the world will let us alone, there is no sign that enemies of the U.S. and the American system of democracy will let us alone, even if we let them alone.
In these circumstances, we must be our own defender. Neither the U.N., nor anybody else, can protect us adequately.
Labels: North Korea