Sunday, June 14, 2009

North Korea To Weaponize Plutonium

So, the UN passed a resolution condemning North Korea's test back on 5-25-09.

Among the provisions:
+ Authorization of member states to inspect, "in accordance with their national authorities and legislation, and consistent with international law," North Korean cargo on land, sea and air, and to destroy any goods suspected of being connected to the DPRK's nuclear program.
+ Requires the North Korean government to return immediately to the six-party talks and renounce its announcement of withdrawal from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
+ Preventing financial services that could contribute to the nuclear or ballistic missile related programs.
+ Instructs member states not to provide financial assistance to the DPRK nuclear programme, or enter into loans with the country, except for humanitarian or developmental reasons.
+ Extending the arms embargo on North Korea by banning all weapons exports from the country and most imports, with an exception to small arms, light weapons and related materiel – though member states must notify the Security Council five days prior to selling the weapons.
+ Demands that North Korea halt its nuclear weapons programme and conduct no further nuclear or missile tests.
+ Asks member states to notify the Council of steps they are taking to implement the sanctions within 45 days.
+ Affirming the Security Council's commitment to a peaceful, diplomatic resolution to the situation.

North Korea responds by saying any further sanctions or resolutions would be considered a "declaration of war", while weaponizing their plutonium, carrying on with the enrichment of uranium, and taunted that any blockade was "act of war that will be met with a decisive military response."

President Obama, where are you? This is your chance to step up to the plate and show your critics, skeptics, and indeed the global community that you have a hard edge. I'm not asking for another game of nuclear brinksmanship, we have learned our lesson from the Cold War (we have, right?), but this is frighteningly threatening rhetoric. These aren't the words of Osama Bin Laden, whose threat to the United States since 9-12-01 has been little more than propaganda delivered from a perpetually undisclosed location.

We found no enriched uranium coming from Africa into Iraq. We found no enriched uranium in Iraq. Here is North Korea - a developed nation, not a terrorist organization, but a nation with a constitution and a government, a global power - promising to carry on a WMD program.

Sanctions and resolutions only go so far. I don't advocate a campaign to send North Korea back to the stone age, but should this situation continue to escalate, I'm able to comfortably step away from my pacifism and say military force may be needed to ensure an end to their nuclear program.

Why didn't we invade them back in 2003? Their withdrawal from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty wasn't enough of a hint of things to come? What could they possibly stand to gain from nuclear armament? Are we too scared to confront them because of their ties to China? Or worse, their ties to Russia?

1 comment:

Shelley said...

This reminds me of that scene in "Get Smart" where the president said that they can't respond to every threat - even though the threat was real obvious.

But hey, maybe if we ignore the country, the problem will just go away. That should work, right?