Will UNSC be able to rein in North Korea?

In the aftermath of fresh missile launch over Japan by North Korea, UNSC to meet today to take decide action against the reclusive state

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Shankar Kumar | September 15, 2017 | NEW DELHI


#UNSC   #Japan   #North Korea   #China  
Representational image
Representational image

Will the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) be able to rein in North Korea? Is China using North Korea as a pawn in its on-going tussle with the US?
In either case, as per diplomats who have had stints with countries in the Korean peninsula, the UNSC sanctions would not be enough to deter the regime of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un who fired a second intermediate-range missile over Japan today, after firing the first on August 29. 
 
Despite the fact that the UNSC has imposed several sanctions on North Korea since 2006, the Kim Jong-Un regime has continued to fire missiles or test nuclear bombs which has triggered jitters among international community members.
 
All 15 members of the UNSC (5 permanent and 10 non-permanent members) are meeting again today and they may pass a new resolution for the imposition of sanctions on North Korea. But people who know North Korea feel that unless China takes a firm step against North Korea, Pyongyang would not stop. 
 
“North Korea’s continued missile launches or nuclear tests have posed a serious threat to peace in the world. The way Pyongyang has conducted these tests shows that it doesn’t bother about UNSC sanctions. Then what options do we have? The US can’t take a military action against it. If it is taken, it would have a devastative impact on South Korea. The US and its ally Seoul know it well,” says SR Tayal, an ex-diplomat who had a three-year ambassadorial stint with South Korea from 2008-2011. 
 
According to him, China is the lone country which has deep influence on Pyongyang. “North Korea has some coal stocks, but it does not have petroleum. If China blocks the supplies of petroleum to North Korea, the rogue country would immediately go on its back foot and may sit across the table for unconditional talks with the US. But China would not do that because Beijing is using Pyongyang as a pawn in its dealing with the US and Japan,” he adds. 
India is highly concerned about any development in the Korean peninsula. After Pyongyang claimed to have detonated a hydrogen bomb on September 3, India left no stone unturned to deplore the move.
 
“It is a matter of deep concern that Democratic People's Republic of Korea [DPRK] has once again acted in violation of its international commitments which goes against the objective of de-‘nuclearization’ of the Korean peninsula, which has been endorsed by DPRK itself. We call upon DPRK to refrain from such actions which adversely impact peace and stability in the region and beyond,” the ministry of external affairs said in its release on September 3. 
 
Interestingly, India used to be the second largest trade partner of North Korea in the world till March 2017 after China. Ostensibly, under pressure from allies like the US, Japan and South Korea, it snapped its trade and commerce relations with this reclusive nation. Now it has joined nations which want tough action against the country. Despite this, it has not broken its diplomatic engagement with the country. Led by ambassador Jasminder Kasturia, India has a total five staff in its embassy in North Korea as of now. In contrast, Pyongyang maintains around 40 staff in its New Delhi-based mission. The US, Japan and South Korea have been building pressure on India to cut North Korea’s diplomatic strength. Nevertheless, India will be keenly watching development when the UNSC sits today.  
 
 

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