Posted September. 20, 2017 07:56,
Updated September. 20, 2017 08:32
World begins to isolate North Korea in diplomacy
Spain ordered Monday the North Korean ambassador to Spain to leave the country by the end of this month, following Mexico, Peru and Kuwait. Peru, Kuwait, Italy, Bulgaria and South Africa have significantly cut down the number of North Korean diplomats in their country. Given that expelling a country’s ambassador is the toughest action in foreign relations before cutting diplomatic ties, the action implies the strongest warning and protest against North Korea’s nuclear tests. The action by a European country, not by a country in Latin America or the Middle East which Washington has strong influence, reflects that there is an extensive backlash from the international community against the regime’s nuclear tests.
Since September last year when the North conducted the fifth nuclear test, senior U.S. officials have traveled across the world to ask countries to take additional actions such as downgrading diplomatic relations or severs ties with North Korea, apart from economic sanctions imposed by the U.N. Security Council. They successfully contained Iran’s nuclear development program through an embargo of oil exports and financial sanctions as the country heavily relies on oil exports. However, they thought they cannot discourage North Korea from developing nuclear weapons only through economic sanctions. They also considered the fact that the regime accelerated its nuclear development, despite nine U.N. sanctions, the largest against a single country.
In response to the U.S. diplomatic policy, around 10 countries have either expelled North Korean ambassadors or reduced the number of North Korean diplomats. Even countries that used to be favorable to the North, such as Angola, Vietnam and Egypt, are also cooperating with the U.N. sanctions by submitting an implementation report to the U.N. The Philippines, one of North Korea’s three major trading partners, declared that it would stop trade with North on Sept. 8. The world began to cooperate with the Trump administration’s maximum pressure and engagement either in economy and diplomacy.
It is a big change that the international community has started to take an action to deter North Korea from developing nuclear weapons. Pyongyang must learn hard lessons that nuclear development and ownership will only cause isolation. Washington plans to do its best to encourage countries around the world to reduce or cut diplomatic relations with the North at the U.N. General Assembly. South Korea has not made any statement or taken any measure, however. Now is the time to put pressure on North Korea on all fronts at a time when the regime is about to complete its nuclear weapon development. South Korea should not just sit idle when the world gets moving to take actions.