The United Nations Security Council is scheduled to meet on Wednesday to discuss countermeasures against North Korea’s recent provocations. The meeting has been arranged at the request of the U.S. in reaction to North Korea’s recent provocations and the possibility of an additional provocation. It has been two years since the U.S. last requested a U.N. Security Council meeting over North Korea. It looks as though the situation is the revival of two years ago, when the international community confronted North Korea’s repeated nuclear and missile provocations with maximum pressure.
The U.S. has not made a big deal out of North Korea’s short-range missile launches as they were not considered as crossing the red line. Unlike European countries, which have condemned North Korea’s missile launches at the U.N. Security Council, the U.S. has continued to take no action. When European countries requested the U.S. to discuss human rights violation issues in North Korea at the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday, the U.S. put off its decision. After North Korea claimed that it carried out a “very important” test at the Tongchang-ri site, however, the U.S. has decided to aggressively respond to North Korea’s major provocation.
Once the U.N. Security Council is held, the member countries are expected to discuss countermeasures against North Korea’s provocations, such as imposing additional sanctions. More than anything else, the members will send a warning not to break off negotiations. UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric on Monday urged North Korea to resume working-level negotiations with North Korea. Furthermore, the upcoming meeting will be an opportunity to urge those countries such as China and Russia, which have maintained friendly relations with North Korea, to better implement sanctions and join the move to impose additional sanctions on North Korea.
The fact that North Korea is putting the U.S. under pressure with its year-end deadline shows the communist country is suffering from the U.N. sanctions. North Korea is using a barrage of bellicose words to put an emphasis on “self-rehabilitation,” but those words are nothing but an empty rhetoric. On Monday, a North Korean high-ranking official insulted U.S. President Donald Trump but stressed that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is remaining silent, saying, “Our leader has not expressed his stance nor made any provocative comments.
In the end, what North Korea wants is to use brinkmanship tactics, in other words, to hold a direct negotiation between President Trump and Kim. The North Korean leader might be expecting at least a personal letter from President Trump. Unpredictable Trump might accept North Korea’s proposal, but sanctions relief and security guarantees cannot be provided without complete denuclearization of North Korea. Making a threat hoping for some kind of rewards would be like shooting itself in the foot. What Kim Jong Un will get instead is threatening pressure and sanctions.