North Korea nuclear test without sanctions, for now

North Korea nuclear test without sanctions, for now

When the Security Council imposed sanctions on Pyongyang immediately after its first nuclear test in 2006, the North Korean government called the punitive measure an "act of war".

North Korean Ambassador Pak Gil Yon, visibly angry, left the UN room and declared that the resolution was a "gangster" act by the 15 member states of the Council.

To date, North Korea has conducted four nuclear tests - in 2006, 2009, 2013 and 2016 - all in defiance of the international community.

"This was an act of destabilization that violates Security Council resolutions and endangers collective security," said UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

The representative of the United States to the world forum, Samantha Power, said that North Korea is the only country that has tested a nuclear weapon in the 21st century, and not just once, but four.

"It is also the only country in the world that routinely threatens other UN member states with nuclear attacks," he said.

Britain's Ambassador Matthew Rycroft informed the media that the UN will adopt a resolution on the matter. "We are going to work with the others on a resolution on new sanctions," he said.

But despite the threats against North Korea, the Security Council remains silent two weeks after the nuclear test, mainly because of China's opposition to the sanctions.

The only thing the Security Council did was unanimously condemn the test, which it considered "a clear violation of (past) resolutions ... and of the nuclear non-proliferation regime".

UN sanctions are known to have concrete consequences. The same does not happen with its resolutions.

In the past, sanctions against North Korea mostly affected commercial and military exchange, in addition to the inclusion of various companies and individuals on a blacklist.

The United States and its industrialized allies, known for their double talk, are more than willing to go after Iran - despite Tehran's claim that its target is nuclear energy and not nuclear weapons - but accept that Israel is a nuclear power in Middle East.

Opposition to North Korea has been less energetic as its nuclear weapons are not a threat to Israel.

Pyongyang pointed out that there is a fact that possibly facilitated the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq and the overthrow of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi (1969-2011), that neither of these countries had nuclear weapons.

"And that is why we will never give up ours," a North Korean diplomat was quoted as saying.

"It is hypocritical to continue sanctioning North Korea, when we have sabotaged so many of the peace negotiations with them over the years," argued American Alice Slater, advisor to the Foundation for Peace in the Nuclear Age.

"We continue to insist on our right to have nuclear deterrent power and to enhance it and offer its protection to our alliance, to countries such as Japan, Australia and South Korea, as well as to the States of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization," he added. .

"I believe North Korea is using it as a 'deterrent' to draw our attention to the resumption of negotiations for a solution to the Korean War, which ended in 1953 with only an armistice and 30,000 US troops still stationed there, as well as to end the crippling sanctions that have impoverished their nation, "he said.

“I don't think the UN resolutions make sense. What about the resolution… to prevent the arms race in space, presented by Russia and China and which the United States blocks, and the need to reestablish the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty so that (Washington and Moscow) seriously negotiate disarmament that will include everyone else, including North Korea? ”Slater questioned.

John Hallam, an activist with the Australian organization People for Nuclear Disarmament, also doubts the effectiveness of the world forum's resolutions.

“If it were any of the delegates on the Security Council, I would distrust the probable effectiveness of a resolution. What will be the mechanisms to apply it, in addition to those that have already been used so far and without success? ”He asked.

"The Security Council must inquire from its own members that they have enormous programs to renew their own nuclear deterrent forces ... with a power tens of thousands of times greater than that of North Korea and whose existence effectively endangers human beings. humans as a species ”, he warned.

Much depends on how the Security Council resolution is drafted, as well as its enforcement mechanisms, he stressed.

“However, my first instinctual impression is that nothing is going to deter North Korea from conducting further trials. The likelihood of further missile testing and testing is very high, and neither action by the Security Council nor action by individual members will make the slightest difference, ”Hallam said.

"The longer we continue to modernize and cling to our nuclear arsenals and promote a nuclear deterrence policy that promises catastrophic threats of nuclear retaliation if we are attacked, then the more countries will want to achieve their own 'deterrence,' just as North Korea did." Slater wrote in the American magazine Counterpunch.

"It is revealing that, at the same time that we negotiated the agreement with Iran to curb its 'peaceful' nuclear program ... we promised 'peaceful' nuclear reactors to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey, so that they too have their bomb in the basement" he added.

“North Korea cannot have been overlooked that once the nuclear program of (ousted Iraq's president) Saddam Hussein ceased after the first Gulf War, and that… Gaddafi voluntarily renounced his nuclear weapons program, one ended up dead in a hole in the ground and the other in a sewer pipe, ”he argued.

The only way to control the spread of the nuclear threat is for the United States and the other nuclear-capable countries - China, India, France, Britain, Israel, Pakistan, and Russia - to renounce their nuclear weapons and negotiate a treaty for their nuclear weapons. abolition under strict international supervision, he recommended.

"Sadly, that won't happen until the two nuclear giants at the table, the United States and Russia, who now have 15,000 of the planet's 16,000 nuclear weapons, agree to do so," Slater concluded.

IPS News

Video: Spectacular explosion of North Korea nuclear test site (September 2021).