World Powers Deliberate on How to Handle North Korea after Latest Missile Test

Danika Delello | Contributor to | Friday, September 15, 2017

World Powers Deliberate on How to Handle North Korea after Latest Missile Test

The United Nations Security Council slapped a new set of sanctions on North Korea earlier this week, following North Korea’s latest missile test, but those restraints are already meeting with resistance.

North Korea’s UN ambassador, Han Tae Song, responded to the Council’s declaration by threatening the United States, according to BBC News.

"The forthcoming measures by DPRK [the Democratic Republic of Korea] will make the US suffer the greatest pain it has ever experienced in its history,” said Han Tae Song.

Russia is presenting more significant though subtle resistance to the new sanctions, according to the Washington Post.

The Post cites U.S. law enforcement officials saying that several Russian companies are exploiting the opportunity to smuggle diesel and other fuels to North Korea and using front companies to launder the payments.

The Russians’ disregard of the sanctions sabotages the Security Council’s intention to create an economic and political siege against Kim Jong Un until he submits to the UN regarding nuclear weapons.

According to NPR, the unanimously voted sanctions imposed on North Korea include a reduction of North Korea’s oil imports by 30 percent, as well as a ban on all textile exports—an industry that brought North Korea $760 million in the last couple years, and an injunction against new work permits for North Koreans seeking international employment.

Although these measures may sound severe, they are far less extreme than the sanctions originally proposed by the U.S.

The original proposal, says NPR, called for “a total oil embargo…[and]…direct penalties, such as an asset freeze and global travel ban, against North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.”

The U.S. relinquished the original proposal to secure the necessary votes from Russia and from China, North Korea’s primary trading partner.

However, according to Anthony Ruggiero, former Treasury Department official and senior fellow at Foundation for Defense of Democracies, “The Chinese may be fed up with North Korea and willing to do more to increase the pressure. But it’s not clear that the Russians are willing to go along with that.”

Without Russia’s compliance, the sanctions lose their power to force Kim’s hand, but were Russia to cooperate, the measures against North Korea may still not be enough.

President Trump declares the sanctions entirely insufficient to effect Kim’s cooperation.

BBC quotes him saying, “Those sanctions are nothing compared to what ultimately will have to happen.”


Photo: In this handout photo released by the United States Forces Korea, South Korea's Hyunmu-2 Missile System (L) firing a tactical ballistic missile during a U.S. and South Korea joint missile drill aimed to counter North Korea¡¯s intercontinental ballistic missile test on July 5, 2017 in East Coast, South Korea. The U.S. Army and South Korean military responded to North Korea's missile launch with a combined ballistic missile exercise on Wednesday, into South Korean waters along the country's eastern coastline.

Photo courtesy: United States Forces Korea via Getty Images

Publication date: September 15, 2017