July 20, 2009 12:11
U.S. State Secretary Hillary Clinton said Wednesday the long-term result of North Korea's actions, "we believe, will be a tougher joint effort toward the complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula." She added, "The short-term results were two unanimous Security Council resolutions with real teeth and consequences for North Korea, and then the follow-on active involvement of China, Russia and India with us in persuading others to comply with the resolutions."
Clinton was stressing the will of the U.S. government not to repeat its past mistake of starting direct dialogue with North Korea immediately after the Security Council adopted sanctions against the North following its first nuclear test in 2006. That direct dialogue ended up taking the sting out of the UN sanctions.
The UNSC imposed travel bans on Ri Je-son, director of North Korea's General Bureau of Atomic Energy, and four other officials involved in the North's nuclear program, while selecting five more North Korean entities and businesses for sanctions and banning two types of materials used to develop ballistic missile parts.
Earlier, the U.S. government tracked the North Korean vessel Kangnam for almost 20 days, since it was suspected of transporting banned weapons, eventually forcing it to return to its home port. A group of U.S. government officials recently visited China, Hong Kong and Malaysia, urging them to halt illicit financial dealings with North Korea. It was a full-court offensive against Pyongyang.
The U.S. administration also seems to believe that dialogue with North Korea would be pointless for the time being, due to the political situation in the communist country, leader Kim Jong-il's bad health and uncertainties in the transfer of power. The White House may have reached a strategic decision to keep North Korean missiles from being exported, while enforcing tough sanctions and keeping an eye on any changes that may happen in the North itself.
Kim Yong-nam, the North's no. 2 leader, said during the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Egypt last Wednesday, "The six-party talks are over for good" and hinted at the possibility of holding arms reduction talks with the United States. But the U.S. repeatedly said it has no intention of recognizing North Korea as a nuclear power. There is little chance that it will change its stance.
The Korea Development Institute in a report issued Friday said, "The crisis currently facing North Korea is no less serious than the troubles it suffered in 1994, when president Kim Il-sung died and a nuclear crisis erupted." We are about to see a repeat of the tragedy where the North Korean people end up starving to death in droves, due to the international sanctions resulting from Kim Jong-il's authoritarianism and megalomaniac thirst for nuclear weapons and missiles.
- Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com