Are we really surprised by this? On Thursday, North Korea threatened to launch a pre-emptive strike against the U.S. as the U.N. diplomats try to decide whether or not to level new sanctions against Pyongyang for its nuclear testing. An unidentified spokesman for Pyongyang commented that Washington is pushing for war against the North so the North is well within their rights to do this. The North however has not been able to produce a warhead missile capable of reaching the U.S. even though they do have the nuclear fuel. In recent days, such inflammatory rhetoric has become even more common since the possibility of a sanction is more than likely leading to a mass rally in Pyongyang on Thursday to protest the upcoming U.S. South Korean war drills and sanctions. According to the Associated Press, Army Gen. Kang Pyo Yong told the crowd that North Korea is ready to fire long range missiles at Washington.
The U.N. Security Council is considering a fourth round of sanctions against Pyongyang in order to keep tighter reins on its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. The resolution, drafted by the U.S. and China, will be put up for council vote just 48 hours later and will most likely have the support of all 15 council members. The statement made by North Korean foreign Ministry spokesman, according to the North’s Korean Central News Agency, accuses the U.S. of being the prime suspect in slapping the sanctions on North Korea however in the statement the new sanctions will only speed up the timing to fulfill previous vows to act on their enemies. The statement, according to the Associate Press, said North Korea “strongly warns the U.N. Security Council not to make another big blunder like the one in the past when it earned the inveterate grudge of the Korean nation by acting as a war servant for the U.S. in 1950.” North Korea in an effort to counter the resolution being passed threatened to end the cease fire of 1953 that ended the Korean War. If the proposed resolution passes, then according to U.S. U.N. ambassador Susan Rice, the sanctions imposed would be the strongest ever ordered by the United Nations. The final draft of the resolution released Wednesday not only puts sanctions on North Korea but two other individuals, one a corporation and one organization, who are the country’s primary arms dealer and exporter of ballistic missile equipment while the other is a national organization in charge of research and development. The success of these sanction depends on China where most of the companies and banks that North Korea is believed to work with are based.
The United States and other nations are concerned that North Korea’s third test has moved them closer to missiles capable of reaching the U.S., while the international community has condemned the government’s nuclear and missile efforts as a regional security risk and a drain on resources that could be allocated to the destitute. The draft condemns the latest test of violating the council’s resolutions, bans on ballistic missile launches and nuclear tests, and North Korea’s ongoing nuclear activities especially uranium enrichment and demands the country return to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. The proposed resolution would also make it harder for North Korea to move around funds for its illicit activities as well as strengthen existing sanctions and inspect all suspect cargo bound for and from the country. It also will impose travel sanctions on senior diplomats that would require countries to expel agents working for sanctioned North Korean companies. Even with existing and new sanctions and resolutions put in place, North Korea has also found ways to conduct business around these measure so only time will tell whether such measure will work. Let’s wait and see who blinks first.