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Sanctions on North Korea must be uniform

Published: Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 00:02


The Democratic Republic of Korea (DPRK) confirmed Tuesday that it conducted its third nuclear test in an underground testing facility after South Korean monitors detected seismic activity coming from the north. 

The test came just two months after North Korea angered international powers over a successful ballistic missile launch that landed a weather satellite into orbit and sparked even more United Nations sanctions on the self-proclaimed “self-reliant” state.

The U.N. Security Council denounced the test and is planning future sanctions, but their actions will continue to be in vain unless all of the Security Council’s member states can uniformly sanction North Korea, isolating it from international aid until it ceases nuclear programs.

The problem is that, though most of the world’s powers are allied in efforts to ostracize the DPRK and its antics, China has continued an economic relationship with Pyongyang, despite the fact that it has voted in favor of implementing the last three sanctions. Any international trade with North Korea strengthens Kim Jong-un’s regime and his desperation for making a name for himself — not the impoverished North Korean population that has an abysmal GDP of $40 billion as of 2011, according to the CIA World Factbook.     

North Korea has made it abundantly clear that sanctions, embargoes or any other international actions will not deter its plans of developing weapons of mass destruction.

Even after the missile launch in December, the DPRK boasted their actions were posed to create a nuclear warhead capable of traveling as far as the U.S. 

When a government as oppressive and ill-advised as North Korea continually ignores international stability the way it has since the end of the Korean War, there needs to be serious and relentless pressure placed on it until it complies. 

Ignoring the severity of the DPRK’s persistence toward nuclear weapons by only suggesting U.N. sanctions that it continues to ignore is shameful.

Though nobody wants the events of the Korean War to be repeated, the ineffectiveness of U.N. sanctions needs to be considered when thinking about future plans regarding North Korea. 

If China is unwilling to participate in implementing the sanctions, perhaps it is worthy of consideration to implement sanctions upon bystander, but enabling, nations. 

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