This archived article was written by: Mason Paur
Last week the United Nations passed a unanimous vote to economically sanction North Korea for its treaty violating test of a nuclear bomb. For those who do not understand quite how a U.N. economic sanction works I will try to help. Imagine the U.N. as a kind of multi-ethnical big brother and North Korea as the ill-tempered attention starved slightly deranged little brother.
In this scenario, little brother North Korea has been lighting off fire crackers in his very economically sparse room. The U.N. comes up to stop him and asks him to give up his fire cracker exploding. North Korea responds with a “Just you try and stop me.” So what else can U.N. do but put his uncooperative little brother into a headlock and give him a noogie. After U.N. has sufficiently discomforted his little brother and North Korea has thrown some elbows, but to execute any successful head lock you are going to have to take a couple of elbows. Big brother U.N. executes the final step in an economic sanction. He offers North Korea a chance to say uncle.
Now let me break this down for you. The headlock that North Korea is in comes in the form of trade bans and frozen finances imposed by the U.N. The noogie symbolizes the thousands of people starving with close to no electricity. Now this is not necessarily the U.N.’s fault, Kim Sung should be concentrating on providing for his people instead of creating weapons of mass destruction.
After prolonged economic isolation North Korea will have to look for other avenues to keep it self afloat. Enter the elbows. What does North Korea know how to do best? Make weapons (though not very well). It is very likely that to provide for itself (or out of spite) North Korea will attempt to sell some of its weapons and weapons technology to the highest bidding terrorist organization. And they may resort to terrorist acts themselves; they have been known to do that. Hopefully this will not be allowed to happen.
What the U.N. will be doing this whole time is offering the North Koreans a chance to say uncle. While the situation in North Korea is declining, the U.N. will sit on the sidelines and offer the North Korean government humanitarian and economic aide in exchange for cessation of its nuclear weapons programs and permission to allow weapons inspectors back into the country.
Now for those of you that believe that the U.S. should take out North Korea’s nuclear program by force, I have some numbers to throw at you. It was estimated that a North Korean invasion would likely cost 52,000 U.S. military and 490,000 South Korean soldiers with countless civilian casualties, all in the first 90 days. Now to be fair, this report was given in 1994 and U.S. military technology has advanced substantially since then. But apparently so has the North Korean’s.
Now this problem may simply be solved through talks between the two country’s governments, which North Korea has been practically begging for. But the Bush administration refuses to speak with them until their nuclear program has been done out with. But what the president will do is make off the record comments that have the effect of pissing off dictators. In my opinion, it is good when talking about a childish tyrant with a goofy haircut, but bad when that man is already trying to make nuclear weapons. It is reported that Bush referred to Kim Sung as a “pygmy” in a 2002 Republican meeting. Apparently the word got back to the 5-foot-3 dictator and he was none too happy. There is a good chance that one of the reasons for Kim Sung’s renewed interest in nukes stems from his feeling underappreciated and inadequate. Some people compensate by buying large vehicles, others flaunt their wealth around, Sung has nuclear weapons developed.
Though the methods used to dismantle North Korea’s nuclear programs may seem precarious, they are necessary. North Korea cannot be allowed to have access to nuclear weapons. Sung is way too unstable to be trusted with that kind of power. It’s like a kid with fire works. If you continue to let him light them, even if it’s in his own room, chances are that one day he might set the whole house on fire.