Friday, September 15, 2017

North Korea - South Korea > Time to re-assess UN and other nation state responses?

North Korea - Is the US and UN being discriminatory? Should independent nation states not be allowed to develop their own missile/rocket and/or even nuclear technology? Is it OK for some nation states to have nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction(WMD) but not others? 

Human Rights Violations in North Korea cannot be ignored -  enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions, sexual violence, violations of freedom of expression/opinion, press freedom, etc ...but the concern is how do we, the UN and other nation states respond. A military response is certainly not reasonable. Responses that affect the life and rights of individuals and families is also not right.

Great concern now, with the live fire military exercises in South Korea(with the US), missile testing both in South and North Korea, and also unpredictable Trump, the current US President. No one, including South Korea, wants a military or nuclear response ... that may lead to a war in the region.

There is a lot of media coverage about the 'evil' of North Korea? (But, here we need to be cautious as to who really controls/influences the media and/or the internet...and how many media are truly 'independent' and have the guts to expose/question wrongdoings of powerful nation states and/or their 'allies'...?).

The object of this allegedly is to put a lot of  pressure to a put a stop to North Korea's development of rocket/missile capabilities, and nuclear technology. [It is odd that it is OK for some nations to develop rocket/missile technology and capability, including the carrying out of testing - but not others. Likewise, with nuclear technology. The agreement to get rid of nuclear arms has not work - as some countries still have not just nuclear weapons but also other weapons of mass destruction(WMD)?]

Examples of Iraq and Libya, after much pressure from the UN, who complied with the demands - still saw invasion(or intervention) of US and foreign forces removing existing government and its leaders. Now, the new 'target' seems to be North Korea. 

A position that having these missile/rocket/ICBM and nuclear capability is a DETERRENT to intervention/invasion of foreign nation states, is currently being held by the US and other 'nuclear powers' or 'super powers'. Could North Korea also not take a similar position now? More so, following what happened in Iraq and Libya, after they had complied with demands about nuclear and/or arms development.

UN and other 'super-powers' also seems selective in their responses against nation states. "Friendly' or allied nations do not get similar responses - primarily because one(or some) of the permanent member states of UN[US, UK, France, Russia and China} that have the VETO power, will not allow it. Israel is one such nation state...that has not seen the 'wrath' of UN. (Remember that US did not want to be part of the UN unless it had the VETO power)

The VETO power given to 5 permanent member states makes the UN undemocratic - and, seriously, there needs to be reform which must include the removal of this VETO power - which also can be used to determine who becomes the UN Secretary General?. 

VETO power need to be abolished, and ultimate powers should vest with the United Nations General Assembly, where every UN member state has ONE(1) vote.

Back to North Korea, the response to date have been the imposition of sanctions that would significantly impact North Korea's economic and financial development - hence, this would also directly impact the well-being of the ordinary people and families in that country...Preventing imports and exports, including now the number of migrant workers and the amount that they could remit back to their families in North Korea is not right...

The apparent bias against North Korea may be historical - It is  time to recall the the history of Korea. In brief, ...

After World War 2, Korea which was then colonized by Japan since 1910, was unnaturally divided by Russia and the US...
On August 10, 1945, the US government decided to propose the 38th parallel as the dividing line between a Soviet occupation zone in the north and a US occupation zone in the south. The parallel was chosen as it would place the capital Seoul under American control.[9] The division placed sixteen million Koreans in the American zone and nine million in the Soviet zone. - Wikipedia
This resulted in the setting up of 2 different styles of government - the North (influenced by Russia - and also China), and the South(by the US). The people of Korea seem to have never been given the right to decide whether they want a United Korea...and the type of government they want.  

Like Vietnam later, there was a move by North Korea to unify Korea(which started allegedly after getting the 'consent'(or support) of China and Russia). BUT, before the end of the war, the UN got involved... which ended with a 'ceasefire' - not a peace treaty?
 By mid-July 1950  North Korean troops had overwhelmed the South Korean and allied American units and forced them back to a defensive line in south-east South Korea known as the Pusan Perimeter....The United Nations condemned North Korea's actions and approved an American-led intervention force to defend South Korea. In September, UN forces landed at Inchon and retook Seoul. Under the leadership of US General Douglas Macarthur, UN forces pushed north, reaching the Chinese border...In late November, Chinese forces entered the war and pushed the UN forces back, retaking Pyongyang in December 1950 and Seoul in January 1951. According to Bruce Cumings, the Korean People's Army played an equal part in this counterattack.[43] UN forces managed to retake Seoul for South Korea....American bombing included the use of napalm against populated areas and the destruction of dams and dykes, which caused devastating floods.[44][45] China and North Korea also alleged the US was deploying biological weapons.[46] As a result of the bombing, almost every substantial building and much of the infrastructure in North Korea was destroyed.[47][48]...The Korean Armistice Agreement was signed on July 27, 1953. A ceasefire followed, but there was no peace treaty, and hostilities continued at a lower intensity.[50] - Wikipedia
How could UN get involved, especially when Russia was one of 5 permanent members, who had veto power? Well, ...

In 1950 the Soviet Union missed one important opportunity to exercise its veto power. The Soviet government had adopted an "empty chair" policy at the Security Council from January 1950, owing to its discontent over the UN's refusal to recognize the People's Republic of China's representatives as the legitimate representatives of China,[10] and with the hope of preventing any future decisions by the Council on substantive matters. ... The result of the Soviet Union's absence from the Security Council was that it was not in a position to veto the UN Security Council resolutions 83 (27 June 1950) and 84 (7 July 1950) authorising the US-led military coalition in Korea which assisted South Korea in repelling the North Korean attack.[11] - Wikipedia

What about China - why did it not veto the resolution on South Korea? Well, it was Taiwan then that had the VETO power until about 1971...
China's seat was originally held by the Nationalist government of the Republic of China. However, it lost the Chinese Civil War and retreated to the island of Taiwan in 1949. The Communist Party won control of mainland China and established the People's Republic of China. In 1971, UN General Assembly Resolution 2758 recognized the Government of People's Republic of China as the legal representative of China in the UN, and gave it the seat on the Security Council that had been held by the Republic of China, which was expelled from the UN altogether.- Wikipedia
The sanctions affects the import of luxury goods...

The sanctions ban the export of COAL, SEAFOOD, export of gold, vanadium, titanium, iron, rare earth metals  copper, nickel, zinc, and silver (will impact government, companies, individual/family's earnings?)

It includes restrictions on financial support for trade with North Korea.[3], restrictions on investment and financial activities, sanctions on money transfers and aimed to shut North Korea out of the international financial system, restrictions on North Korea’s Foreign Trade Bank and freezing assets of suspect individuals and organizations in Japan.

MIgrant Workers - prohibited any increase in the number of North Koreans working in foreign countries.[13] and there are also imposition of limits on remittances. 
Tourism - banned Americans from visiting North Korea...

Poverty ...and such 'sanctions' can (and have) forced such affected to go to war - hence, what really is the UN and these other countries doing - are they trying to force North Korea to react with 'war' or ...? It is time to look at the reason why Germany...Japan resorted to war?? 

Poorer nations and those with economic problems needs immediate unconditional  assistance...

The UN Security Council has passed a number of resolutions since North Korea's first nuclear test in 2006.[1]

Resolution 1718 in 2006 demanded that North Korea cease nuclear testing and prohibited the export to North Korea of some military supplies and luxury goods.[2][3] The UN Security Council Sanctions Committee on North Korea was established, supported by the Panel of Experts.[4][5][6]

Resolution 1874, passed after the second nuclear test in 2009, broadened the arms embargo. Member states were encouraged to inspect ships and destroy any cargo suspected being related to the nuclear weapons program.[3][1]

Resolution 2087, passed in January 2013 after a satellite launch, strengthened previous sanctions by clarifying a state’s right to seize and destroy cargo suspected of heading to or from North Korea for purposes of military research and development.[3][1]

Resolution 2094 was passed in March 2013 after the third nuclear test. It imposed sanctions on money transfers and aimed to shut North Korea out of the international financial system.[3][1]

Resolution 2270, passed in March 2016 after the fourth nuclear test, further strengthened sanctions.[7] It banned the export of gold, vanadium, titanium, and rare earth metals. The export of coal and iron were also banned, with an exemption for transactions that were purely for "livelihood purposes".[8][1]
Resolution 2321, passed in November 2016, capped North Korea's coal exports and banned exports of copper, nickel, zinc, and silver.[9][10] In February 2017, a UN panel said that 116 of 193 member states had yet not submitted a report on their implementation of these sanctions, though China had.[11] Also in February 2017, China announced it would ban all imports of coal for the rest of the year.[12]
Resolution 2371, passed in August 2017, banned all exports of coal, iron, lead, and seafood. The resolution also imposed new restrictions on North Korea’s Foreign Trade Bank and prohibited any increase in the number of North Koreans working in foreign countries.[13]

United States sanctions

In February 2016, President Obama enacted the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016, which passed the House of Representatives and the Senate with nearly unanimous support.[3] This law:
  • requires the President to sanction entities found to have contributed to North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction program, arms trade, human rights abuses or other illegal activities.[3]
  • imposes mandatory sanctions for entities involved in North Korea's mineral or metal trades, which comprise a large part of North Korea's foreign exports.[3]
  • requires the US Treasury Department to determine whether North Korea should be listed as a "primary money laundering concern," which would trigger tough new financial restrictions.[3]
  • imposes new sanctions authorities related to North Korean human rights abuses and abuses of cybersecurity.[3]

In July 2017, after the death of tourist Otto Warmbier, the US government banned Americans from visiting North Korea from September 1.[14]

South Korean sanctions

South Korea imposed sanctions against North Korea following the 2010 sinking of the South Korean naval ship, the Cheonan. These sanctions, known as the May 24 measures, included:[3]
  • banning North Korean ships from South Korean territorial waters.[3]
  • suspending inter-Korean trade except at the Kaesong Industrial Zone.[3]
  • banning most cultural exchanges.[3]
In 2016 President Park Geun-hye ordered the Kaesong complex shut in retaliation for the nuclear test in January and the rocket launch in February.[3]

Japanese sanctions

In 2016, Japan's sanctions against North Korea included:[3]
  • banning remittances, except those made for humanitarian purposes and less than 100,000 yen in value.[3]
  • freezing assets of suspect individuals and organisations in Japan.
  • prohibiting North Korean citizens from entering Japan.[3]
  • renewing the ban on North Korean ships entering Japanese ports and extending it to include other ships that have visited North Korea.[3]
  • banning nuclear and missile technicians who have been to North Korea from entering Japan.[15]

European Union

The European Union has imposed a series of sanctions against North Korea since 2006. These include:[3]
  • an embargo on arms and related material.[3]
  • banning the export of aviation and rocket fuel to North Korea.
  • banning the trade in gold, precious metals and diamonds with the North Korean government.[3]
  • banning the import of minerals from North Korea, with some exemptions for coal and iron ore.
  • banning exports of luxury goods.[3]
  • restrictions on financial support for trade with North Korea.[3]
  • restrictions on investment and financial activities.[3]
  • inspections and monitoring of cargoes imported to and exported from North Korea.[3]
  • prohibiting certain North Korean individuals from entering the EU.[16]
 Source: Wikipedia

What is the solution? 

Maybe, we may have to lift certain sanctions or exports, imports, migrant workers, remittances... 

If the UN takes the position that all nuclear arms and 'weapons of mass destruction(WMD)' must be destroyed - then it must be applied across the board...Wrong to say some countries should not develop nuclear technology or rocket/missile technology ...but not others...

Time must come when powerful nations should no longer be allowed to determine the 'agenda' for the global community...UN General Assembly should have a session to discuss North Korea - South Korea(US and Japan) concerns, the rights of sovereign nation states to develop nuclear technology, rockets/missile and arms, weapons of mass destruction, etc ...The new colonization of nation states by powerful countries also need to be looked at - whereby now, this takes not the form of armed struggle or occupation, but the imposition of economic liabilities and/or dependence, etc..this prevents free expression of smaller and weaker states...

NAM - Non-Alligned Movement  > This becomes even more important now to combat the growing influence of the superpowers - US, EU, China, Russia, etc...? 



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