Our President appears to be taking his cues on foreign policy from a John Lennon song. So, for a moment, let’s not imagine, let’s go to the Not-So-Wayback machine and look up North Korea. Emphasis mine.
UN Resolution 1540 (April 28, 2004)
Resolution 1540 affirms that “proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, as well as their means of delivery, constitutes a threat to international peace and security.” The Security Council urges all States to take additional effective measures to prevent proliferation, including nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and their means of delivery.
UN Resolution 1695 (July 15, 2006)
In this resolution, the Security Council explicitly condemns the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) nuclear weapons program. While calling for a diplomatic solution to the situation, the Council demands that the DPRK cuts back its missile launches, which jeopardize peace and security in the region. In addition, the 1695 resolution bans all member states from transactions with North Korean involving material, technology or financial resources transfer connected to DPRK’s missiles or weapons of mass destruction programs.
Wrong Path on North Korea
The Washington Post
Wednesday, September 6, 2006; Page A15
By Donald Gregg and Don Oberdorfer
The Bush administration is preparing to implement a new set of comprehensive sanctions against North Korea in response to its recent ballistic missile tests. This would be a grave mistake, likely to lift the already dangerous situation on the Korean Peninsula to a new level of tension. Imposing such sanctions at this time could bring about more of the very actions the United States opposes. They should be reconsidered before lasting damage is done.
UN Resolution 1718 (October 14, 2006)
The Security Council, acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, unanimously imposed sanctions on North Korea, in reaction of Pyongyang’s nuclear test. After arduous negotiations, this softer version establishes an embargo on military and technological materials, as well as luxury goods, but does not include reference to military intervention as the US proposed initially. Furthermore, the resolution demands the freezing of North Korea’s financial assets with the exception of funds necessary to meet basic needs.
U.S. Offers North Korea Aid for Dropping Nuclear Plans
The New York Times
By HELENE COOPER and DAVID E. SANGER
Published: December 6, 2006
…The incentives package also includes a pledge by the United States to work with North Korea toward finding a way to end the financial restrictions placed last year on a Macao bank, Banco Delta Asia, that was a main hub of the North’s international financial transactions. The Bush administration accused Banco Delta Asia of helping North Korea to launder money from drug smuggling and other illicit activities and to pass counterfeit $100 bills manufactured by the North’s government.
While the United States remains unwilling to lift the sanctions until the counterfeiting issue is resolved, a senior administration official said American officials had told the North Koreans they would work with them on the issue. “We would help them to help themselves,” the official said. “We would expect them to come forward with what they know, and we’d work through the problem.”
Describing the North Koreans’ response to the entire package of incentives and demands, the official, who was in the room during the exchanges in Beijing, said: “They listened intently. They were clearly in a listening and probing mode, and they said they were glad to be hearing this from us.”
In their position, I’d be glad to hear the kindly tone of diplomacy, too. And the words “fuel oil” and “food.” LOL
Now, we’re up to the present – where we are assured words matter.
Obama Seizes on Missile Launch in Seeking Nuclear Cuts
The New York Times
By HELENE COOPER and DAVID E. SANGER
Published: April 5, 2009
“Rules must be binding,” he [Obama] said. “Violations must be punished. Words must mean something.” Those words were added to the end of a long-planned arms control speech hours before, after the president was awakened at 4:30 a.m. by his press secretary, Robert Gibbs, with news of North Korea’s defiance.
…The diplomatic challenge was underscored again while North Korea was preparing its latest missile test. In London last week, Mr. Obama raised the imminent test with President Hu Jintao of China, whom the United States has relied on to influence the North. A senior administration official, briefing reporters, said he believed the Chinese had expressed concerns to the North, urging it to halt the flight.
That “seizes” in the headline can be read with more than one meaning, of course.
So can “Rules must be binding.” For example, Obama doesn’t think rules matter in the case of contracts regarding retention bonuses. And “Words must mean something,” must be getting really hard for even the Obamanation to assimilate.
North Korea announced this launch several weeks ago, so one would think the UN Security Council has had lots of time to decide what they would do, and that Ambassador Susan Rice would have been on top of this. What is the UN doing? Nothing. What will they do? Prepare a watered down, copy-and-paste version of resolutions they’ve already passed and persistently fail to enforce. Like Obama, the UN is nothing if not persistent.
While this jaw-jawing charade is unfolding at the UN what is Our President doing? Cutting the missile defense program. Imagine. Just imagine.
Maybe if Our President could come to regard Kim Jong-Il as a surrogate for Rick Wagoner we’d be better off.