North Korea’s drive to develop nuclear weapons has reached the stage where U.N. sanctions alone won’t convince Kim Jong Un, the delusional leader of the impoverished nation, to change course.
Like his father, Kim Jong Il, the new president is perpetuating the big lie that the weapons of mass destruction are meant to defend his country against an attack by the United States and its ally, South Korea. But considering that neither the U.S. nor its allies have any interest in invading that god-forsaken land, the clear explanation for the nuclear program is that North Korea intends to use the bomb to intimidate its neighbor to the south, or to attack the U.S.
Regardless of his intentions, Un must be stopped.
His defiance of U.N. warnings continued this week when North Korea conducted its third nuclear test in the remote, snowy northeast. It was a crucial step toward its goal of building a bomb small enough to be fitted on a missile capable to striking the U.S.
And the rogue nation made it clear that the test was merely its “first response” to what it called U.S. threats. It said it will continue “second and third measures of greater intensity” if Washington maintains its hostility. It did not specific the measures.
What hostilities? Even China, North Korea’s only ally and economic savior, publicly berated Pyongyang for its aggressive behavior.
The United Nations, which had ordered the country to shut down its atomic activity or face more sanctions and international isolation, held an emergency session and said the test poses “a clear threat to international peace and security” and pledged further action.
There are U.N. resolutions on the books that prohibit North Korea from conducting nuclear or missile tests because the Security Council considers Pyongyang a world be proliferator of weapons mass destruction. The world body says the nuclear testing is a threat to international peace and stability.
But North Korea remains defiant. It says the nuclear weapons are a defense against the U.S., which has more than 28,000 troops in South Korea to protect its ally. America has had a presence in that part of the world since the 1950-53 Korean War.
At the beginning of the year, we dismissed Kim’s New Year’s Day speech in which he called for a lessening of tensions between his nation and South Korea and his acknowledgement of the poor state of the economy.
We said his words rang hollow in light of his decision to proceed with the launching of a long-range rocket carrying a satellite.
Hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent on the nuclear program and the military, in general, while the populace is literally starving. Citizens are deprived of basic goods and services, with children and the elderly at greatest risk of death and disease.
It is not beyond the realm of possibilities that Kim and his gang of thugs are desperate to turn their economic fortunes and would threaten to use the nuclear bomb if the U.N. does not lift the sanctions. In the extreme, it could launch an attack on South Korea to demonstrate its military power.
Given North Korea’s defiance and Kim’s obvious commitment to his late father’s goal of making the country a nuclear power, the United Nations must come up with a stronger response than economic sanctions.