13 September 2017

News Story: Sanctions alone inadequate to denuclearize Korean Peninsula

by Xinhua writer Liu Chang

BEIJING, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- If history provides any lessons on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, it is that hoping to sanction Pyongyang out of its nuclear weapons program has so far generally disappointing or barely gratifying at best.

The UN Security Council endorsed late Monday further and tougher punitive measures against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) over its sixth nuclear test earlier this month, the country's most powerful blast to date.

The new sanctions dropped an oil embargo listed in a previous draft, and demand a ban on DPRK's textile exports that worth some 800 million U.S. dollars and are the country' s second-biggest export after coal.

For the records, it is the eighth time for the United Nations to slap sanctions on Pyongyang since it carried out the first underground nuclear explosion in 2006.

However, throughout the decade and more, the nuclear crisis in the peninsula seems to have been deeply trapped by an endless loop in which nuclear and missile tests trigger tougher sanctions and tougher sanctions invite further tests.

Ahead of the UN voting on Monday, the DPRK warned in a foreign ministry statement that it is ready to respond to any new sanctions by using "any form of ultimate means."

Given the fact that, despite all these years of sanctions, Pyongyang now claims it has successfully developed a thermonuclear hydrogen bomb that could be attached to an intercontinental missile, it is expected that the possibility for Pyongyang to give in to the latest round of punitive bans is tragically low, while chances for even more test-shoots and nuclear blasts are helplessly high.

Read the full story at Xinhua