Opinion / Editorials

UN should keep DPRK in check with sanctions

(China Daily) Updated: 2016-09-21 07:37

UN should keep DPRK in check with sanctions

A file photo of one UN security council meeting held in New York, US on June 11, 2016. [Photo/Xinhua]

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea's nuclear/missile adventure is dangerous not just for the Republic of Korea, the United States, and Japan. A nuclear-armed yet unstable neighbor will prove detrimental to China, too, even though it does not look like one now.

The key stakeholders should have stood together for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Beijing's latest indication to cooperate with Washington in the United Nations Security Council should have been a matter of course. Washington and its allies must be aware that no sanctions will succeed without Beijing on board. And a military solution can hardly go without violating the UN mission for peace.

For Beijing, collaborating with other players and making the UN Security Council work, and its resolutions bite, are necessary, if the matter is to be handled within the UN framework.

Security Council members had pledged to take "further significant measures" if the DPRK conducted another nuclear test. Now is time for them to honor that promise, and break what UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the "accelerating spiral of escalation".

With Beijing now agreeing to "further", "necessary" sanctions, there at least is a better chance for the Security Council to come up with what is badly needed to resolve this issue.

But the next question is to what extent the key stakeholders can agree on how much "further" is "necessary", and this will determine whether there will be a strong enough regime of operational sanctions to discourage Pyongyang.

After all, such divisive issues as the Terminal High Altitude Air Defense anti-missile system remain inescapable obstacles in any substantive discussion on regional security. Divergent security concerns have divided not only the four immediate stakeholders, but also the Security Council, leaving ample room for Pyongyang to press ahead with its nuclear/missile programs.

Also, it has severely undermined solidarity and synergy indispensable for a forceful collective stance against the obvious threat.

The Security Council has issued a resolution each time Pyongyang has conducted a nuclear test, only its members have taken longer time to agree on a text acceptable to all.

The current situation brooks no more foot-dragging. That the past resolutions failed to stop Pyongyang's nuclear bid was a warning that, the anticipated new resolution on "further" sanctions must make Pyongyang rethink its morbid approach.

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