U.S. to Propose Arms Embargo on North Korea

I’d proposed it two days before July’s missile tests, because of the rising danger of another preventable famine, but  it now looks as if John Bolton is circulating  this concept  as part of what he’d tried to get from the U.N. after the July missile tests:

The United States circulated a draft U.N. resolution late Monday that would condemn North Korea’s nuclear test and impose tough sanctions on the reclusive communist nation for Pyongyang’s “flagrant disregard” of the Security Council’s appeal not to detonate a device.

The draft, obtained by The Associated Press, incorporates proposals circulated by the U.S. earlier in the day to prohibit all trade in military and luxury goods and crack down on illegal financial dealings.

An arms embargo on a dangerous, belligerent nation that starves its people by the millions to pay for more arms?  Seems like a hard idea to resist.  But then, we’re dealing with the United Nations here.

Although I was surprised to see China vote in favor of the last resolution, it’s clear that North Korea’s behavior has only served to drive Japan into a closer alliance with the United States and undermine South Korea’s neutralist leadership, which is about to lose the benefit of its adult supervision, such as it is.  It’s also clear that the United States has financial levers on China, and  I’m guessing that those played some role in the Bank of  China’s recent blocking of North Korean accounts. 

What is still missing from our policy?  Meaningful outreach to the people of North Korea  and the willingness to be subversive about it.  Ideally, that outreach would begin with feeding them, but the North Korean government would clearly prefer to let them starve.  If North Korea won’t allow us to monitor our food aid and insure that it goes to those who need it as much as at any time since the 1990’s, then it’s time to bring North Korean refugees to secure places where we can train them to go back to their homeland and plant the seeds of dissent and resistance.