Late this afternoon, the Security Council announced that it had agreed on a draft resolution on North Korea. The Council is expected to vote on the draft on Friday and reports indicate the resolution will include a toughening of sanctions, including the possible inspection of North Korean cargo ships.
Of course, we’ve seen this movie before. To wit, this exchange between a reporter and Ambassador Susan Rice at a stakeout outside the council.
Reporter: Given the chain of events that followed the adoption of resolution 1718 in 2006, what gives you confidence that this resolution can halt North Korea’s nuclear program and missile …(inaudible).
Ambassador: Well this is a very strong sanctions regime, I think both in terms of its elements and its inspection provisions. It is currently the strongest provision that is in place if it were to be adopted by the Security Council. But the DPRK will make its own judgment and it will decide what sort of response and what sort of future it has. There is no guarantee, obviously, but it is important for the international community to speak with one voice, it is important for there to be consequences, and this sanctions regime, if passed by the Security Council, will bite and bite in a meaningful way.
I’d say that the fact that you have even China and Russia fully on board what looks to be a tough sanctions regime is a welcome sign of progress.