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North Korea and the UN
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The Economist reminds us of the other nasty rogue state, North Korea, and the successful U.S. push to have the U.N. deal with their expulsion of nuclear inspectors and violation of nonproliferation agreements.

The authorities in Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, believe that America’s effort to get the Security Council to discuss the issue is itself highly provocative. They have given warning that they will not recognise any UN resolution the council may pass. North Korea instead wants to hold direct talks with the administration of President George Bush and for America to sign a formal non-aggression pact. Yet even that might not be enough to avert a war, the North Korean foreign ministry has stated.

My prediction? The U.N. will go soft on North Korea. They won't pass a resolution condemning the expulsion of IAEA inspectors, nor will they even get close to suggesting sanctions or other punitive or preventative measures.

The U.N. wouldn't even be touching this issue if it weren't for U.S. pressure. What's wrong with this picture?

Meanwhile, North Korea's neighbors don't want to touch the issue with a ten-foot pole. They're continually saying, "You deal with it." Gosh, wouldn't that be unilateral? (Though by the force of some mighty twisted logic, I've heard people say on this very site that our desire to solve the problem multilateral is itself unilateral because other nations want us to handle it alone! Voltaire would have been proud.)

North Korea is a problem. A huge one. And the international community needs to be involved. Japan, South Korea, China, and Russia all have immediate stakes in this crisis, but so do many European countries, possible targets of nuclear terrorism along with the United States. North Korea is processing fissile material as fast as it can right now, and nobody is doing a damn thing about it.

The U.S. is trying, and all we're getting for it is a bunch of childish rhetorical bullshit. Again, we're trying to work through the mostly defunct U.N. to stop a madman via diplomacy. And once again, all most can do is criticize.

Who the hell else is doing anything about North Korea? If we're bungling it so horribly, please speak up and share your genius about what should be done.

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