News and commentary by: Whymrhymer

The sanctions imposed by the United Nations against North Korea today are a message to Kim Jong-il, but little more than that. The message is that his primary (and almost only) friends in the world, China and Russia, are unhappy with the trouble he has stirred up.

In particular, the sanctions, as explained in this Washington Post article, are on North Korea’s “trade in nuclear technology and other weapons of mass destruction, high-end conventional weapons and luxury goods.” Sounds good but they are sanctions with few ‘teeth.’ The article goes on to explain that the original proposal for sanctions, introduced jointly by the U.S. and Japan, required inspections of cargo entering or leaving North Korea but the final resolution changed that to a simple request for inspections . . . a request that China has already stated it will not honor.

If this resolution does anything useful it will at least reduce North Korea’s ability to export their goods and/or import weapons or nuclear technology and it may lure them back to the bargaining table.

Its a shame, as it always is in cases like this, that the ones who will suffer most are not the people in Kim Jong-il’s inner circle or Kim Jong himself. It is the common people of North Korea, people who have no hostile intent toward anyone or anything, who will continue to bear the brunt of the country’s poverty and misery. And what do you suppose these people are being told right now? You can bet that  the people of this closed society are not being told that their poverty is the partial result of a political and economic system that can never succeed, they are not being told that  the main cause for their poverty is that money that could have been used to alleviate the wide-spread poverty was instead spent on a nuclear weapons program, and they are certainly not being told that their wretched “leader” cares not a whit for them or their survival as long as he has power. What they are being told . . . if anything . . . is anyone’s guess.

Links:

The Washington Post article: U.N. Votes to Impose Sanctions on N. Korea

The CIA Factbook on North Korea

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