UN: How do you solve a prob­lem like Kim Jong Un?

Waterloo Region Record - - WORLD - Edith M. Led­erer and Kim Tong-Hyung

The United Na­tions Se­cu­rity Coun­cil was called into emer­gency ses­sion Fri­day af­ter North Korea con­ducted its long­est-ever test flight of a bal­lis­tic mis­sile.

The coun­cil wanted to talk about what to do now that Kim Jong Un has ig­nored its lat­est round of sanc­tions.

France’s for­eign min­istry said in a state­ment that the coun­try is ready to work on tougher UN and EU mea­sures “to con­vince the regime in Py­ongyang that there is no in­ter­est in an es­ca­la­tion, and to bring it to the ne­go­ti­at­ing ta­ble.” It said North Korea will also be dis­cussed dur­ing next week’s an­nual gath­er­ing of world lead­ers at the Gen­eral Assem­bly.

The in­ter­me­di­ate-range weapon North Korea launched early Fri­day from Su­nan, the lo­ca­tion of Py­ongyang’s in­ter­na­tional air­port, hur­tled over U.S. ally Ja­pan into the north­ern Pa­cific Ocean.

The launch sig­nalled both de­fi­ance of North Korea’s ri­vals and a big tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance.

Since U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump threat­ened North Korea with “fire and fury” in Au­gust, the North has con­ducted its most pow­er­ful nu­clear test, threat­ened to send mis­siles into the waters around the U.S. Pa­cific island ter­ri­tory of Guam and launched two mis­siles of in­creas­ing range over Ja­pan. July saw the coun­try’s first tests of in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­siles that could strike deep into the U.S. main­land when per­fected.

The grow­ing fre­quency, power and con­fi­dence dis­played by these tests seem to con­firm what gov­ern­ments and out­side ex­perts have long feared: North Korea is closer than ever to its goal of build­ing a mil­i­tary ar­se­nal that can vi­ably tar­get U.S. troops both in Asia and in the U.S. home­land.

This, in turn, is meant to al­low North Korea greater mil­i­tary free­dom in the re­gion by rais­ing doubts in Seoul and Tokyo that Washington would risk the an­ni­hi­la­tion of a U.S. city to pro­tect its Asian al­lies.

UN Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral An­to­nio Guter­res con­demned the mis­sile launch as a se­ri­ous vi­o­la­tion of Se­cu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tions, com­ing less than two weeks af­ter the North’s sixth nu­clear test, which also vi­o­lated a ban.

The Se­cu­rity Coun­cil’s emer­gency meet­ing Fri­day was be­hind closed doors.

On Mon­day the coun­cil unan­i­mously ap­proved its tough­est sanc­tions yet on North Korea over its nu­clear test, which Py­ongyang said was a hy­dro­gen bomb. The U.S. said the mea­sures, in­clud­ing a ban on tex­tile ex­ports, com­bined with pre­vi­ous sanc­tions would ban over 90 per cent of North Korea’s ex­ports re­ported in 2016.

North Korea’s for­eign min­istry de­nounced the sanc­tions and said the North would “re­dou­ble its ef­forts to in­crease its strength to safe­guard the coun­try’s sovereignty and right to ex­is­tence.”

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the lat­est mis­sile trav­elled about 3,700 kilo­me­tres and reached a max­i­mum height of 770 kilo­me­tres. Guam, which is the home of im­por­tant U.S. mil­i­tary as­sets, is 3,400 kilo­me­tres away from North Korea.

South Korean Pres­i­dent Moon Jae-in, a lib­eral who ini­tially pushed for talks with North Korea, said its tests cur­rently make di­a­logue “im­pos­si­ble.”

“The sanc­tions and pres­sure by the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity will only tighten so that North Korea has no choice but to take the path for gen­uine di­a­logue,” Moon said. “If North Korea pro­vokes us or our al­lies, we have the strength to smash the at­tempt at an early stage and in­flict … dam­age it would be im­pos­si­ble to re­cover from.”

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