Updated January. 24, 2013 07:02
The United Nations Security Council on Tuesday unanimously approved Resolution 2087, which strengthens the efficiency of and expands sanctions on North Korea. Under the resolution, all items related to nuclear materials or missiles shall not be traded with the Stalinist country. The action also makes it clear that the use of bulk cash to evade sanctions will not be tolerated. The Security Council made the move in response to the North`s long-range missile launch conducted Dec. 12 last year. The resolution also marks the first diplomatic achievement of South Korea since it joined the council as a non-regular member.
China surprisingly approved the additional sanction on North Korea. For Pyongyang`s rocket launches conducted in April 2009 and the same month last year, the Security Council had to adopt presidential statements instead of new resolutions due to Chinese opposition. Beijing even stood by Pyongyang despite the latter`s sinking of the South Korean naval ship Cheonan and shelling of Yeonpyeong Island in 2010. Chinas agreement to the resolution that articulates the U.N.s determination to take significant action in the event of a further (North Korean) launch or nuclear test could serve as a warning to the North. The fifth generation of Chinese leaders led by Xi Jinping seems unwilling to provide limitless support for further provocations by the North.
Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula has become impossible. Therefore, we will proceed to conduct a third nuclear test. This is what North Korea said two hours after the new resolution was approved. The six-party talks and the 2005 nuclear agreement have come to an end due to hostile policies by the U.S., Pyongyang added. It makes no sense for North Korea to blame other countries when it threatened world peace by violating U.N., resolutions to launch long-range missiles. The communist regime should know that its style of brinkmanship is long outdated. The Obama administration, which just began its second term, also ruled out buying "the same word" twice.
North Korea should realize that a third nuclear test will merely further isolate itself from the rest of the world. Building relations with North Korea "based on trust" was a campaign pledge of President-elect Park Geun-hye of South Korea. If the North proceeds with another nuclear test, the incoming administration in Seoul cannot cancel sanctions taken May 24 last year against North Korea to provide humanitarian aid. If inter-Korean ties remain strained under the Park administration as they have been under the outgoing Lee Myung-bak administration, the fault will be Pyongyang`s.
South Korea must ensure that the U.N. sanctions on the North work while thoroughly monitoring the security situation on the Korean Peninsula. Seoul should also prevent Pyongyang from attempting further provocations by maintaining close cooperation with the U.S., Japan and China through diplomatic channels. The incumbent administration in Seoul, President-elect Park and politicians from all parties should have the same voice on the North.