Yesterday one could not help but to meditate over the significance and consequences of Swedish Foreign Ministry’s condemnation Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons test (and further short-range missile display,) or the collective press releases of the rest of Europe’s standard reaction: to be sure, these wise words will be sure to change the course of events and bring the rogue opaque regime whose internecine struggles to come to book.
The truth of which is that it just raises the profile of another nuclear-capable weird Harold, and that the Europeans trotting out their WMD, the remote possibility of trade sanctions with a backwater they do little trade with to begin with, are really just raising the North Koreans’ profile, dignifying it while affirming their own impotence to do anything about it. In fact, to make declarations on the tides and turns in a dangerous environment knowing full well that nothing will come of it is largely about trying to raise THEIR profile to be taken seriously, even if they’re just proffering an opinion about a matter that a united ‘human rights and justice’ Europe will other do nothing about other than wring its’ hands over.
Indeed, just like the BBC, I waited with bated breathe in anticipation of the content of the emergency meeting of the UN Security Council. Would they use the word “condemn” or simply express “concern”? Would they go the extra mile and show “deep concern,” knowing of the severe mortal risk that as bold a statement as that would entail? To be sure, they will “speak up, even if their voice shakes!”
It’s altogether too frightening to open the European newspapers in a week or two to find out. Meanwhile, back in the “I’ve been asleep for a decade department”, BBC rings in affirming the efficacy of the “global community”
Laura Trevelyan, UN correspondentIndeed, they will be just watching, as they have many times before.
The question is what kind of sanctions against North Korea can be agreed and whether they will be effective in getting this unpredictable nation to rejoin talks on dismantling its nuclear programme.
Existing measures could be expanded - like the financial sanctions against North Korean companies involved in the nuclear programme.
Western diplomats will be watching closely to see whether China will back tough sanctions. China has been reluctant to back measures which it believes could destabilise its erratic neighbour.