U.N. Security Council Resolution Takes Shape Passes Resolution 1718

Update: Too good to be true? Looks like the vote will be delayed … probably so that the Chinese and Russians can water this thing down.

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Update 2:   On again.   Supposedly, there will be a vote today.
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Updated 3:   It passed; analysis below, and the full text at the bottom of this post.   Naturally, the North Korean delegate walked out and denounced everyone for being “gangster-like. This is what the psychologists refer to as “projection.”  John Bolton compared this to Khruschev banging his shoe on the podium.

Ban Ki Moon, now confirmed as UNGS, was on Fox News talking about it tonight.  I’ve never heard anyone say so little with so much stock, boilerplate diplospeak.  Makes me sleepy, only in an angry, resigned, unilateralist  sort of way.

So, what about it?  Really, it’s good — much better than I expected.  Key points in the scorecard below.

Scroll down to the bottom of this post for the full text.

—– (Original Post with updates) ——

If the intial reports pan out, it’s surprisingly strong. Here’s a scorecard:

* WMD Interdiction: [link]

A U.S.-backed draft resolution presented to the council earlier Thursday would impose an arms embargo on North Korea, ban all trade linked to its programs for ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons, and permit international inspections of North Korean cargo.

Here’s a portion of the final text:

(f)     in order to ensure compliance with the requirements of this paragraph, and thereby preventing illicit trafficking in nuclear, chemical or biological weapons, their means of delivery and related materials, all Member States are called upon to take, in accordance with their national authorities and legislation, and consistent with international law, cooperative action including through inspection of cargo to and from the DPRK, as necessary;

Good.  The U.N. gives us just enough room for us to use the PSI to  get the work done. 

* Arms Embargo: [link]

“[The draft resolution] also eliminates a blanket arms embargo in the previous draft, instead targeting specific equipment for sanctions including missiles, tanks, warships and combat aircraft.”

Final text:

[A]ll Member States shall prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer to the DPRK, through their territories or by their nationals, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, and whether or not originating in their territories, of … any battle tanks, armoured combat vehicles, large calibre artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missiles or missile systems as defined for the purpose of the United Nations Register on Conventional Arms, or related materiel including spare parts, or items as determined by the Security Council

I can live with North Korea buying small arms. It’s the big-ticket or WMD-related defense purchases that I’ve long believed that Kim Jong Il should not buy while his people starve.  The ban on spare parts is critical; North Korea’s equipment is aging and will wear out quickly without spares.  They will try to conserve parts by cutting back on training exercises, meaning that their capabilities will degrade substantially within five years (remember, North Korean man  often serve for 12 to 18 years).

* Luxuries for Kim Jong Il and His Minions: “The U.S. text would also prohibit North Korean trade in luxury goods ….” [link] Excellent.  Although the term isn’t further defined in the final text, it probably means no more Hennessey cognac, Mercedes sedans, Omega watches, or other goodies  that  are popular among  loyal party members.  Machiavelli famously contrasted the merits of being feared and loved.  Now, Kim Jong Il’s ability to make himself loved is substantially curtailed.

* Travel Restrictions: “[The U.S. text] would ban travel … of individuals involved in the country’s prohibited weapons programs.” [link]

* WMD-Related Assets: “[The U.S. text would] freeze assets of individuals involved in the country’s prohibited weapons programs.” [link]   The final text says “persons and entities.”

* Further Disarmament: “North Korea would be given 30 days to halt its nuclear activities or face additional international penalties.” No doubt President Bush likes this delaying a more intense confrontration until after the next elections. Good, because it’s really what the six-party talks never were: the threat of a concerted response. [link]   The final resolution, below, demands that North Korea return to the NPT, comply with IAEA safeguards,  suspend its ballistic missile programs, and abandon its nuclear weapons and programs “in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner.”  Sound familiar?

*   Compliance.   The final text also forms a committee to monitor compliance.  Better, the committee has the power to gather information from member states, to better track down which states are trading with the North Koreans.  It will make additional reports every 90 days, and the resolution threatens further action, if necessary.

* “Military Action:” [link]

The latest draft would only authorize non-military sanctions against the North and clearly states that any further action the council might want to take would require another U.N. resolution.

Meaning, an invasion or direct strike on North Korea, which isn’t really an option anyway.

*   Missile Testing:   The final resolution “demands” no more nuke or missile tests.  It’s about as heavy on the missiles as the nukes.

*   Technology Transfers:  It will be interesting to see how this applies to Iran, with which the North Koreans have a long-standing relationship of nuclear and missile  technology cooperation.

Overall, it actually sounds about as good as you could hope for. I suppose the Russians concluded that they didn’t want the Chechens getting their hands on Kim Jong Il’s production series, and the same may be true of the French and the Salafists in Algeria.

A question that remains is how this will affect the Kaesong Industrial Park and Kumgang, which are really just uncontrolled transfer payments to the regime.  Recall that  U.N.S.C.R. 1695  required members to be “vigilant” about where their money goes.   This resolution, 1718,  has even stronger language:

[Member states shall] ensure that any funds, financial assets or economic resources are prevented from being made available by their nationals or by any persons or entities within their territories, to or for the benefit of such persons or entities;

In fact, South Korea has no idea where its aid to North Korea goes, and has admitted as much.  I expect we’ll opt for a more robust interpretation that South Korea’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” version, which means, “collision course” and some good DOA material. Stay tuned, and don’t miss Richardson’s post  discussing additional  evidence of South Korea’s contribution to North Korea’s nuclear program.

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Update 4:    The full text of resolution 1718 (2006)  follows:

The Security Council,

Recalling its previous relevant resolutions, including resolution 825 (1993), resolution 1540 (2004) and, in particular, resolution 1695 (2006), as well as the statement of its President of 6 October 2006 (S/PRST/2006/41),

“Reaffirming that proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, as well as their means of delivery, constitutes a threat to international peace and security,

Expressing the gravest concern at the claim by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) that it has conducted a test of a nuclear weapon on 9  October 2006, and at the challenge such a test constitutes to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and to international efforts aimed at strengthening the global regime of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, and the danger it poses to peace and stability in the region and beyond,

Expressing its firm conviction that the international regime on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons should be maintained and recalling that the DPRK cannot have the status of a nuclear-weapon state in accordance with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons,

Deploring the DPRK’s announcement of withdrawal from the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and its pursuit of nuclear weapons,

Deploring further that the DPRK has refused to return to the six-party talks without precondition,

Endorsing the Joint Statement issued on 19 September 2005 by China, the DPRK, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation and the United States,

Underlining the importance that the DPRK respond to other security and humanitarian concerns of the international community,

Expressing profound concern that the test claimed by the DPRK has generated increased tension in the region and beyond, and determining therefore that there is a clear threat to international peace and security,

Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, and taking measures under its Article 41,

“1.    Condemns the nuclear test proclaimed by the DPRK on 9 October 2006 in flagrant disregard of its relevant resolutions, in particular resolution 1695 (2006), as well as of the statement of its President of 6 October 2006 (S/PRST/2006/41), including that such a test would bring universal condemnation of the international community and would represent a clear threat to international peace and security;

“2.    Demands that the DPRK not conduct any further nuclear test or launch of a ballistic missile;

“3.    Demands that the DPRK immediately retract its announcement of withdrawal from the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons;

“4.    Demands further that the DPRK return to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards, and underlines the need for all States Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons to continue to comply with their Treaty obligations;

“5.    Decides that the DPRK shall suspend all activities related to its ballistic missile programme and in this context re-establish its pre-existing commitments to a moratorium on missile launching;

“6.    Decides that the DPRK shall abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programmes in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner, shall act strictly in accordance with the obligations applicable to parties under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the terms and conditions of its International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Safeguards Agreement (IAEA INFCIRC/403) and shall provide the IAEA transparency measures extending beyond these requirements, including such access to individuals, documentation, equipments and facilities as may be required and deemed necessary by the IAEA;

“7.    Decides also that the DPRK shall abandon all other existing weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programme in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner;

“8.    Decides that:

(a)     all Member States shall prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer to the DPRK, through their territories or by their nationals, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, and whether or not originating in their territories, of:

(i)     any battle tanks, armoured combat vehicles, large calibre artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missiles or missile systems as defined for the purpose of the United Nations Register on Conventional Arms, or related materiel including spare parts, or items as determined by the Security Council or the Committee established by paragraph 12 below (the Committee);

 

(ii)   all items, materials, equipment, goods and technology as set out in the lists in documents S/2006/814 and S/2006/815, unless within 14 days of adoption of this resolution the Committee has amended or completed their provisions also taking into account the list in document S/2006/816, as well as other items, materials, equipment, goods and technology, determined by the Security Council or the Committee, which could contribute to DPRK’s nuclear-related, ballistic missile-related or other weapons of mass destruction-related programmes;

(iii)luxury goods;

(b)     the DPRK shall cease the export of all items covered in subparagraphs (a) (i) and (a) (ii) above and that all Member States shall prohibit the procurement of such items from the DPRK by their nationals, or using their flagged vessels or aircraft, and whether or not originating in the territory of the DPRK;

I         all Member States shall prevent any transfers to the DPRK by their nationals or from their territories, or from the DPRK by its nationals or from its territory, of technical training, advice, services or assistance related to the provision, manufacture, maintenance or use of the items in subparagraphs (a) (i) and (a) (ii) above;

(d)     all Member States shall, in accordance with their respective legal processes, freeze immediately the funds, other financial assets and economic resources which are on their territories at the date of the adoption of this resolution or at any time thereafter, that are owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by the persons or entities designated by the Committee or by the Security Council as being engaged in or providing support for, including through other illicit means, DPRK’s nuclear-related, other weapons of mass destruction-related and ballistic missile-related programmes, or by persons or entities acting on their behalf or at their direction, and ensure that any funds, financial assets or economic resources are prevented from being made available by their nationals or by any persons or entities within their territories, to or for the benefit of such persons or entities;

(e)     all Member States shall take the necessary steps to prevent the entry into or transit through their territories of the persons designated by the Committee or by the Security Council as being responsible for, including through supporting or promoting, DPRK policies in relation to the DPRK’s nuclear-related, ballistic missile-related and other weapons of mass destruction-related programmes, together with their family members, provided that nothing in this paragraph shall oblige a state to refuse its own nationals entry into its territory;

(f)     in order to ensure compliance with the requirements of this paragraph, and thereby preventing illicit trafficking in nuclear, chemical or biological weapons, their means of delivery and related materials, all Member States are called upon to take, in accordance with their national authorities and legislation, and consistent with international law, cooperative action including through inspection of cargo to and from the DPRK, as necessary;

“9.    Decides that the provisions of paragraph 8 (d) above do not apply to financial or other assets or resources that have been determined by relevant States:

(a)     to be necessary for basic expenses, including payment for foodstuffs, rent or mortgage, medicines and medical treatment, taxes, insurance premiums, and public utility charges, or exclusively for payment of reasonable professional fees and reimbursement of incurred expenses associated with the provision of legal services, or fees or service charges, in accordance with national laws, for routine holding or maintenance of frozen funds, other financial assets and economic resources, after notification by the relevant States to the Committee of the intention to authorize, where appropriate, access to such funds, other financial assets and economic resources and in the absence of a negative decision by the Committee within five working days of such notification;

(b)     to be necessary for extraordinary expenses, provided that such determination has been notified by the relevant States to the Committee and has been approved by the Committee; or

I         to be subject of a judicial, administrative or arbitral lien or judgement, in which case the funds, other financial assets and economic resources may be used to satisfy that lien or judgement provided that the lien or judgement was entered prior to the date of the present resolution, is not for the benefit of a person referred to in paragraph 8 (d) above or an individual or entity identified by the Security Council or the Committee, and has been notified by the relevant States to the Committee;

“10.  Decides that the measures imposed by paragraph 8 (e) above shall not apply where the Committee determines on a case-by-case basis that such travel is justified on the grounds of humanitarian need, including religious obligations, or where the Committee concludes that an exemption would otherwise further the objectives of the present resolution;

“11.  Calls upon all Member States to report to the Security Council within thirty days of the adoption of this resolution on the steps they have taken with a view to implementing effectively the provisions of paragraph 8 above;

“12.  Decides to establish, in accordance with rule 28 of its provisional rules of procedure, a Committee of the Security Council consisting of all the members of the Council, to undertake the following tasks:

(a)     to seek from all States, in particular those producing or possessing the items, materials, equipment, goods and technology referred to in paragraph 8 (a) above, information regarding the actions taken by them to implement effectively the measures imposed by paragraph 8 above of this resolution and whatever further information it may consider useful in this regard;

(b)     to examine and take appropriate action on information regarding alleged violations of measures imposed by paragraph 8 of this resolution;

I         to consider and decide upon requests for exemptions set out in paragraphs 9 and 10 above;

(d)     to determine additional items, materials, equipment, goods and technology to be specified for the purpose of paragraphs 8 (a) (i) and 8 (a) (ii) above;

(e)     to designate additional individuals and entities subject to the measures imposed by paragraphs 8 (d) and 8 (e) above;

(f)     to promulgate guidelines as may be necessary to facilitate the implementation of the measures imposed by this resolution;

(g)     to report at least every 90 days to the Security Council on its work, with its observations and recommendations, in particular on ways to strengthen the effectiveness of the measures imposed by paragraph 8 above;

“13.  Welcomes and encourages further the efforts by all States concerned to intensify their diplomatic efforts, to refrain from any actions that might aggravate tension and to facilitate the early resumption of the six-party talks, with a view to the expeditious implementation of the Joint Statement issued on 19 September 2005 by China, the DPRK, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation and the United States, to achieve the verifiable denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and to maintain peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and in North-East Asia;

“14.  Calls upon the DPRK to return immediately to the six-party talks without precondition and to work towards the expeditious implementation of the Joint Statement issued on 19 September 2005 by China, the DPRK, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation and the United States;

“15.  Affirms that it shall keep DPRK’s actions under continuous review and that it shall be prepared to review the appropriateness of the measures contained in paragraph 8 above, including the strengthening, modification, suspension or lifting of the measures, as may be needed at that time in light of the DPRK’s compliance with the provisions of the resolution;

“16.  Underlines that further decisions will be required, should additional measures be necessary;

“17.  Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

27 comments

  1. […] Key provisions limit North Korea’s trade in expensive weapons systems and luxury items, and we will be able to stop and board their ships.  The draft also promises further action if North Korea doesn’t disarm within 30 days.  A scorecard here at OFK, with updates to follow.  […]

  2. Michael Sheehan says:

    Surprise, surprise!!

    Looks like Seoul is having ‘second thoughts’ about the stance taken earlier this week.

    The Dong-A Ilbo article illustrates the latest tact being taken:

    ‘Official Defends Policy Toward North’

    http://english.donga.com/srv/service.php3?biid=2006101428348

  3. […] Updates on that U.N. resolution, which should go to a vote today, and another ambassador of our country makes the Korean papers.  Read and cringe. […]

  4. […] Read and comment here.  Really, it’s much stronger than I had expected, and has potential to have about as much effect as the determination of the member states allows. […]

  5. Dave says:

    As far as that travel ban goes, I wonder if Kim Jong Il himself would be prohibited from traveling; after all, he is Chairman of the National Defense Commission. That would surely qualify as an individual “involved in the country’s prohibited weapons programs.” That would be interesting…

  6. […] From One Free Korea: U.N. Resolution on N. Korea – Full Text and Analysis […]

  7. […] Iran reacts to U.N.S.C.R. 1718: “Some Western countries have turned the U.N. Security Council into a weapon to impose their hegemony and issue resolutions against countries that oppose them,” Ahmadinejad was quoted by the state-run television as saying Monday. […]

  8. brent says:

    One question that a lot of people have been asking is whether or not China will do its part on enforcing this resolution. Check out this AP news video about a border fence and the Chinese military searching DPRK vehicles.
    http://video.ap.org/v/en-ap/v.htm?g=8f49641d-7553-402e-b712-c31f81e6dc71&t=s60&p=ENAPus_ENAPus&&f=NYONE

  9. […] Saturday’s Resolution 1718, passed in the wake of a nuke test, has tighter language (”ensure that any funds, financial assets or economic resources are prevented from being made available by their nationals or by any persons or entities within their territories”).  Any wiggle room in there?  Yes! Seoul believes the inter-Korean Kaesong Industrial Complex and package tours to North Korea’s Mt. Kumgang are not subject to a ban of transferring money to the North under a UN Security Council resolution passed Saturday, a senior official here said. The official on Sunday insisted there “needs to be evidence that the two inter-Korean projects are directly involved in North Korea’s development of weapons of mass destruction.” […]

  10. […] Which is beside the point.  As much as I wish it were otherwise, neither the United States nor the U.N. Security Council seeks regime change.  The issue here is enforcing a U.N. Resolution.  Comrade Chung, preferring to set himself up against America as opposed to the U.N., also sets up a false choice between overthrowing the North Korean regime and defying a resolution aimed at controlling nuclear proliferation and punishing highly dangerous behavior.  Had Chung carried out the Sunshine Policy with some sense of reciprocity, that behavior might not have occurred at all. […]

  11. […] While I don’t see a mere agreement to talk as any cause for celebration, there may – or may not – be something to State’s claims that pressure played some role (in what, we’ll know later).  Just yesterday, the New York Times reported that China had cut off Kim Jong Il’s fuel supplies entirely.  It might be that the North Koreans are trying to take some of the momentum out of U.S.-led efforts to implement U.N.S.C.R. 1718, which might just happen, especially in the case of South Korea.  China “denied that an apparent drop in China’s oil exports to the isolated fortress state signalled a shift in policy.” […]

  12. […] If they think unblocking these more-or-less ill-gotten gains will cure what ails them, they either haven’t read Resolution 1718, or else they expect China to let them smuggle in weapons and expensive French booze.  And yes, I think the Chinese would be quite willing to let them do it. The real tragedy would be an American failure to make counterfeiting and drug production into test cases for CVID.  If we’re given the opportunity to visit Printing House 62 in Pyongsong; haul away the presses, plates, and ink; and satisfy ourselves that we’ve shut down the source of the Supernotes completely and verifiably, then we can have some realistic expectation that one day, we’ll be able to do the same with their nukes.  It would be reasonable, if not fair, for the North Koreans to want something in return.  You can buy a lot of food and medicine for $24 million. […]

  13. […] My violin, please.  For its trouble and expense, Seoul is now caught between American pressure to end subsidies for the unprofitable project and North Korean threats of “   ” if it ends them, as Resolution 1718 clearly requires unless North Korea accounts for its share of the proceeds. […]

  14. […] Then came North Korea’s nuclear test on October 9th, followed swiftly by U.N. Security Council Resolution 1718.  Suddenly, the issue of Kaesong went beyond questions for human rights and business ethics.  A disagreement between peace-loving Koreans and rabid Washington neocons had become a disagreement between the Uri/DPRK view and the sacrosanct voice of the International Community.  Let’s reread the relevant part of 1718: [A]ll Member States shall … ensure [emphasis mine] that any funds, financial assets or economic resources are prevented from being made available by their nationals or by any persons or entities within their territories, to or for the benefit of [’persons or entities designated by the Committee or by the Security Council as being engaged in or providing support for’ … North Korea’s WMD programs].  […]

  15. […] Unless we can account for how those funds will be spent — that is, ensure that they won’t be spent for WMD programs — China is violating UNSCR 1718 by unblocking those funds.  Note that China’s past cooperation with Treasury had greatly pleased some in Washington.  Does China assume that with a new, more China-friendly faction ascendant in Washington, that its withdrawal of that cooperation will have no adverse effects?  Consider this report in light of what Treasury calls “new evidence” in its BDA investigation, which it claimed just two weeks ago was “making headway.”  One wonders if China’s actions could disrupt that investigation.  If so, one is entitled to wonder why. […]

  16. […] Leave aside the sheer density of illogic in that brief statement, most of which speaks for itself.  Either Roh, a former human rights lawyer, did not read Paragraph 9 of this very brief resolution, or he’s lying: Decides that the provisions of paragraph 8 (d) above do not apply to financial or other assets or resources that have been determined by relevant States: (a) to be necessary for basic expenses, including payment for foodstuffs, rent or mortgage, medicines and medical treatment …. […]

  17. […] The familiar sound of those words comes from Section 805 of the USA PATRIOT Act, now codified at 18 U.S.C. 2339A, which criminalizes material support for terrorism (which includes kidnapping) and activities related to weapons of mass destruction (biological, chemical, nuclear).  Those words are probably meant to sound both morally and legally significant, and in fact, they could potentially lead to the seizure of assets under the U.S. money laundering or forfeiture statutes, if the government can establish jurisdiction — against U.S. persons, or for acts committed on U.S. soil, or against U.S. victims.  Of course, the fact that the words are supposed to sound scary is no indication as to whether this Administration is really prepared to follow through.  Resolution 1718 also prohibits “support” for U.N.-designated entities involved in North Korea’s WMD programs, although the list of those entities does not yet exist.  It’s more likely that Lefkowitz chose hard-hitting words whose plain meaning was meant to send a strong and clear message to recalcitrant governments. The Security Council also voted unanimously to condemn North Korea ’s ballistic missile program in July and its nuclear weapons testing in October. The October resolution calls on member states to freeze the financial assets of those aiding North Korea ’s nuclear weapons program. […]

  18. […] The acceleration of North Korea’s food crisis and a partial U.N. arms embargo have had no apparent effect on its spending priorities, as Mingi Hyun informs us.  Fortunately, China could not bring itself to selling the North Koreans any of its J-10 fighters, which are rumored to be reverse-engineered Lavis. […]

  19. […] As for the laundered drug and counterfeiting money, all of that, too, will be resolved in 30 days.  There will be a quick payoff and all will be forgotten until the proceeds are aimed at us.  Meanwhile, here’s a question that no one has asked — by giving them back that money, won’t we be violating the very U.N. resolutions that we just rammed through? […]

  20. […] Royce read language from U.N. Security Council Resolution 1718:  “[T]he DPRK shall abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programmes in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner.”  […]

  21. […] That resolution may have been the only potentially effective U.N. action in my living memory, and the hand that held the dagger belonged to none other than our own State Department.  The United States ignored an apparent violation of the international sanctions against North Korea by turning a blind eye to an arms shipment that Pyongyang sent to Ethiopia earlier this year, according to a story in Sunday’s edition of The New York Times. North Korea has been subject to strict sanctions since it tested a nuclear device last October. An anonymous Pentagon official tells the paper the January shipment was “an unambiguous Security Council violation.” […]

  22. […] Royce read language from U.N. Security Council Resolution 1718:  “[T]he DPRK shall abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programmes in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner.”  […]

  23. […] Not that anyone cares, but I’d just like to point out that there couldn’t be a more obvious vehicle for laundering money and violating U.N. Security Council 1718?  Why is it only unilateralism when we do it, and when it’s done with dozens of other nations (but not the French)?  If you want to know why the U.N. is a worthless institution, just look at how quickly its members states, including the United States, forgot Resolutions 1695 and 1718. […]

  24. […] Then there’s the fact that this transaction violates two U.N. resolutions the United States so recently expended such political capital to secure.  The latter of those, Security Council Resolution 1718, was passed just last October, after North Korea’s partial success at testing a nuclear weapon and complete success at eventually extorting Dane Geld from us.  One of 1718’s provisions required that nations giving money to this Caligula of the East “ensure” that those funds were not used for his personal pleasure or weapons of terror, even as his people live hand-to-mouth to survive each day. […]

  25. […] If the former human rights lawyer has actually read 1718 (full text here), he must have meant to say “unconditional cash payments,” because there is a specific exception for humanitarian aid in 1718.  Not that South Korea cares much either way in practice, because they’ve ignored 1718 since Day One.  I’m unwilling to believe Roh doesn’t know this, but it’s often hard to tell whether Roh is being dishonest or simply ingorant.  We know that Lee is dishonest and no intellectual, but hardly anyone doubts his guile.  I sense that Koreans have grown weary of fresh faces.  They want guile again.  So, for that matter, do I. […]

  26. […] The desperation is understandable if you exclude the grave realities and think only of what an embarrassment it could be for Mr. Sigal, Selig Harrison, David Albright, and their strange new bedfellows at State.  If true, this would be a flagrant violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1718.  You will answer by telling me that nothing the U.N. says is worth a warm pitcher of spit.  Point taken.  Ditto the NPT.   […]

  27. […] For example, some readers will recall this post, in which I passed along reports that North Korea had also counterfeited Chinese currency.  The blatant, self-defeating illogic of such a course defies belief.  Yet it’s not much more illogical or incredible than the idea of Kim Jong Il earning a relative pittance from counterfeiting dollars at the risk of bringing down the awesome wrath of the U.S. Treasury Department, or kidnapping Japanese citizens to train spies, at the cost of billions in trade and remittances.  And what fool can’t see that shooting missiles over Japan and testing nukes would merely drive Japan into America’s arms, force even the U.N. into action, and further annoy the Chinese?  (Yes, I think that actually testing one was a step too far, even for China.)  My all-time favorite:  stealing the trucks that the late Hyundai chairman Chung Ju-Yung used to send 1,000 cattle to the North at the height of the Great Famine.  Kim Jong Il has slapped the faces of his South Korean benefactors more times than I could recount in an hour. […]

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