The UN Security Council has unanimously passed a resolution condemning North Korea’s missile launch last month. This time, China, too, supported Resolution 2087 in a remarkable departure from the past. As a result, North Korea faces much stronger sanctions from the international community than under previous Resolutions 1718 and 1874. We welcome the UN’s decision.
However, Pyongyang reacted by strongly hinting at the possibility of a third nuclear test by announcing that it “will suspend efforts to achieve denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and take physical measures to reinforce our military power, including nuclear deterrence.” It is lamentable for North Korea to brazenly defy the UN resolution after the whole world denounced its third long-range missile test and demands an immediate suspension of such provocations. The North will head toward an eventual collapse unless it changes its course.
The latest UN resolution condemns Pyongyang’s violation of earlier resolutions that prohibited it from using any types of ballistic missile technology. The new sanctions are tough, allowing all UN member nations to tightly control import and export of any items that could be used to develop North Korea’s weapons. They also crack down on Pyongyang’s dealings that attempt to avoid financial sanctions. South Korea, the United States and Japan now plan to beef up their diplomatic efforts to persuade other governments to augment their sanctions on individual levels.
That will further isolate the reclusive country from the international community. Despite its decades of economic hardships, North Korea’s leadership asked for it. It is deluded to think it can survive all the sanctions and without exchanges with the rest of the world. If Pyongyang opts to adhere to its coveted dream of being a nuclear power, it will find it increasingly difficult to survive. The leadership’s mistaken thinking will only lead to a further worsening of its people’s lives.
We urge Pyongyang to snap out of the illusion that it can take on the entire world. It should stop trying to support a narrow group of elite at the expense of the bulk of the North Korean people. It’s a total tragedy for a country with affluent mineral resources and geographical advantages for economic growth to maintain an oppressive regime for the sake of a tiny few.
Our government must do its best to thwart the North’s third nuclear test and prepare for another military provocation.