Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Rip van ElBaradei Awakens From Slumber

IAEA head Mohamed ElBaradei wants to see North Korea’s nuclear program referred to the UN Security Council. While he is not necessarily proposing sanctions against the rogue nation, he is certainly pushing for UNSC oversight into North Korea’s efforts. (The Korea Times: El Baradei Wants UNSC to Address NK Nukes).

Perhaps the most interesting statement issued by ElBaradei to date is his complaint that, “We reported North Korea to the Security Council in 1992, and as I said, nothing has happened”. What a surprise.

ElBaradei is also looking to expand the discussion well beyond North Korea’s nuclear goals, and would like to include economic aid and the overall security of North Korea in that discussion. That does make some sense since the north is one of the poorest nations on the planet and has severe economic needs. Abandoning their nuclear program must be a prerequisite to any talks on economic aid, however, since that is the only leverage other nations have to keep North Korea in line.

Security concerns on the part of North Korea stem more from paranoia than any military reality. The West has absolutely no interest in North Korea other than insuring they are not a threat to the South or to Japan. It’s not the West that needs to give assurances, it’s North Korea. Bottom line is, if they could behave themselves they would have no fear of invasion from the West. As it is, they continue to threaten both South Korea and Japan, and as such, they incur the ire of the West. The ball is in North Korea’s court. If they don’t want to be threatened, they need to stop testing missiles that over fly Japan.


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