UN: Sanctions Slowing North Korean Nuclear Program
International Sanctions Slowing North Korea Nuclear Program
A UN report released this week found that sanctions have been effective in curtailing North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.
The report documents that the sanctions have “not halted the development of nuclear and ballistic missile programs, [but] it has in all likelihood considerably delayed (North Korea’s) timetable and, through the imposition of financial sanctions and the bans on the trade in weapons, has choked off significant funding which would have been channeled into its prohibited activities,” according to Reuters News.
China’s commitment remains critical to ensuring the sanctions continue to have an impact in slowing Pyongyang’s nuclear program.
In China for a series of meetings with officials, U.S. envoy Glyn Davies says Beijing has indicated it will not back away from implementing sanctions against Pyongyang. The Washington Post reports that Davies said China is “seeking to convey messages to Pyongyang so that they understand the importance China attaches to denuclearization.”
China’s Cooperation Limited By Self-Interest
As a recent paper by the Cato Institute reported, “China provides its dysfunctional ally with approximately half of the food supplies and 80 to 90% of the energy supplies that it needs. If Beijing ever decided to sever that aid pipeline, Kim’s regime would be in very serious trouble.”
But China is reluctant to take such drastic action because it fears the potential influx of refugees from North Korea, which could have a destabilizing impact on an already destabilized nation.
While China has been more cooperative in recent months, it continues to thread a line in terms of its support of North Korea. For example, China has not ceased shipments of fertilizer to Pyongyang – a violation of UN sanctions.
Cold War Mentality Hampers Northeast Asia Progress
Chen Jimin says the Northeast Asia security standoff can be solved only when nations put their histories behind and abandon Cold War thinking.
“Whether in theory or in practice, the zero-sum approach of the Cold War has been proven to be obsolete. The policies of power against power are not conducive to regional stability and prosperity; rather, common, cooperative, and collective security based on a commitment to MAS are the most useful means for keeping the peace within the region. Any actor wanting to bolster its own security at the expense of another’s, pursuing so-called absolute security, is bound to find it counterproductive,” asserts Jimin.
The region, however, cannot move forward without US involvement, particularly with regard to American relations with China.
“Finally, but most importantly, Sino-U.S. relations must be strengthened, with greater cooperation. On one level, Northeast Asian security involves many actors, but Sino-U.S. relations are key, with the regional outlook very much linked to the status of the relationship between the two powers.”
In Closing, This Should Leave You Scratching Your Head
If you need to point to a reason why Americans question the usefulness of the United Nations, a recent case stands out. At the end of May there will be a new head of the UN Disarmament Group — Iran.
As Joel Brinkley notes, this would the same Iran that has “been subjected to six UN Security Council resolutions since 2006 demanding that the nation disarm by suspending its nuclear-weapons development program.”