Earl Ofari Hutchinson's take on the politics of the day
Yesterday with its lone ally throwing in the towel and the book, the UN approved sanctions on North Korea 15-0. As in days of old, if sanctions were placed on an ally of the Soviet Union, they would veto it.
China did the same for North Korea until Wednesday evening. Interestingly enough about these sanctions were not only did Chinese Ambassador Li Baodong support the actions, he assisted the US in drafting the language that put the sanctions in place.
The DPRK (Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea) has threatened retaliatory actions against South Korea and the rest of Asia.
Ironically the South and the US are currently conducting joint military exercises which Pyongyang (North Korea’s capitol) said is “preparing for a nuclear confrontation.” The exercises were scheduled months ago. The North also said they are prepared to launch “smaller nukes” at the South.
While US Ambassador Susan Rice stated although that she doubts the North will follow through, tensions just the same have risen quite substantially. Kim Jong-un is like the late Nikita Khruschev, meaning unpredictable. Bill Richardson, former Clinton Administration also echoed Rice’s sentiments, however he hasn’t dismissed them entirely.
Officials in Seoul feared that North Korea might attempt an armed skirmish to test the military resolve of South Korean President Park Geun-hye, South Korea’s first female president, who took office less than two weeks ago.
On Wednesday, in an uncharacteristically blunt response to North Korea’s threat, a South Korean Army general called a news conference and warned that if provoked, South Korea would strike back at the top North Korean military leadership. In 2010, the two Koreas’ front-line units exchanged artillery fire after North Korea launched a barrage against a South Korean border island. The North Korean General Kim Yong-chol raised the heat with the smaller nuke threat. The South has felt all along that was Yong-chol who initiated the attack against them three years ago.
With tensions on the rise, oil future prices could be affected and we may expect to pay more at the pump. Needless to say Washington and the rest of the world is keeping its eyes on Pyongyang.