Bryan Preston was handicapping the situation this morning. Read the whole thing.
The bottom line now is that the United Nations will probably prove to be useless in preventing crisis again. China and Russia will use their vetoes to water down any punishment, and the US will acquiesce rather than play hardball and get them to stop protecting North Korea. South Korea will duck. Japan will do what it has to do to survive, with our without help from anyone else including us.
We’ll work with our allies and use the Proliferation Security Initiative as well as we can, but as long as China props North Korea up Kim will go on menacing the world. This won’t solve the North Korea problem, and will only kick it down the road until North Korea’s missiles and nuclear weapons actually work. The window for dealing with a mostly toothless North Korea will have passed. And when North Korea’s weapons work, so will Iran’s.
The Security Council agreed Friday to a weekend vote on a resolution about sanctions against North Korea after it was revised to eliminate the explicit mention of military enforcement that brought objections from China and Russia.
China and Russia say "no" to
Chapter 7 military sanctions (correction in updates) and we say, "okay." More details:
redefined the legal limits of the inspections it calls for on cargo going into and out of North Korea...dropped a blanket embargo on conventional weapons, limiting the ban to large-sized arms, military systems and weapons of mass destruction.
requires all countries to prevent the sale or transfer of material related to North Korea's nuclear, ballistic missile and unconventional weapons programs...maintains a ban on travel by persons associated with those programs.
...bars North Korea from exporting such weapons
Charles Krauthammer is also in favor of something old-school:
Given the fact that there is no other nuclear power so recklessly in violation of its nuclear obligations, it shall be the policy of this Nation to regard any detonation of a nuclear explosive on the United States or its allies as an attack by North Korea on the United States requiring a full retaliatory response upon North Korea.
This is how you keep Kim Jong Il from proliferating. Make him understand that his survival would be hostage to the actions of whatever terror group he sold his weapons to. Any terrorist detonation would be assumed to have his address on it. The United States would then return postage. Automaticity of this kind concentrates the mind.
Urg, a "bleak and terrifying future" awaits us. Happy Friday, y'all!
Meanwhile, the phrase "talk to North Korea" is pretty hoppin' on the Google Search today. I'd prefer Krauthammer's way.
Rice will travel to China, Japan, and S. Korea this week, endeavoring to convince China to put its big red boot down on the tiny tyrant.
Japan is pondering a military beef-up, and has already enacted sanctions of its own.
Update: Oops, this story indicates I was wrong earlier. Chapter 7 was not ruled out, but the sanctions will be enacted under Article 41, which only allows only "non-military sanctions such as economic penalties, breaking diplomatic relations or banning air travel."
Update: N. Korean light show. It's like Stone Mountain, only without the lights and Travis Tritt music.