Posted February. 26, 2016 07:24,
Updated February. 26, 2016 07:41
The U.S and China have agreed on a draft resolution that would expand U.N. Security Council sanctions against North Korea. During a meeting at the White House on Wednesday, U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi agreed on the resolution that was prepared through UN’s security channel. Following the circulation of the draft among Security Council members, a general session will be held at 3 p.m. on Thursday (5 a.m. on Friday in Korean time) to discuss its adoption. It seems that the international community will collect its commitment to adopt the resolution against Pyongyang as early as this weekend or early next week.
While the draft was not open, it is said to include much stronger sanctions such as barring the entry of North Korean ships to any ports in the world, banning the passage of its airplanes to fly over airspace of UN members, stopping the provision of aircraft fuel to Pyongyang and preventing the import of mineral resources from the North. Once implemented, the sanctions are expected to block both skyway and waterway of North Korea as Air Koryo is highly likely to stop its flight to Beijing and Vladivostok. Monitoring on the inflow of large-sized money to Pyongyang will also be enhanced. “Not a few effective measures that are stronger than ever are included,” South Korea’s foreign ministry said.
While the measures are expected to be a significant blow to the North following the close of the Kaesong Industrial Complex, it is hard to forejudge that Pyongyang would give up its nuclear and missile ambition. Above all, Kim Jong Un, de facto leader of North Korea, and Kim Yo Jong, chief secretary of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party who manages financial resources required for nuclear and missile development are not included in the sanctions. As the resolution has been produced from the compromise between Washington who pushed forward with stronger sanction that would topple down the Kim Jong Un regime and Beijing that opposed too-much stringent sanctions that may bring down the regime, any rooms to Pyongyang given behind the scene by China would take away the means to control the regime from the international community.
During the Washington-Beijing discussion on sanctions against North, the issue to change the truce agreement of Korean War to peace treaty was raised. South Korea and the U.S. dismissed the issue on the ground of “denuclearization first,” but the issues of six-party talks resumption and peace treaty could be raised again after the resolution is passed as China is taking the lead for those matters on behalf of Pyongyang. There is also high possibility that the deployment of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) is used as an important bargaining means between Washington and Beijing regardless of Seoul’s intention. UN resolution is just means to induce North Korea’s changes, not the end by itself. Even the smallest loophole must be tightly closed to stop Kim Jong Un who is provoking serious risk in the Korean Peninsula by openly saying that he would blow the presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae.