July 21, 2006


North Korea’s Missiles Backfire: With Beijing and Moscow on the UN sanctions bandwagon, it’s time for a hard decision by Kim Jong Il (Shim Jae Hoon, 18 July 2006, YaleGlobal)

On his first extended meeting some years ago with Vladimir Putin in Moscow, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il reportedly joked to his host that his weeklong train trip over Siberia had taught him all he needed to know about the new Russia. Judging by Moscow’s and Beijing’s reactions at the United Nations to Kim’s missile threat, that remark may now be seen as misplaced cockiness.

Despite slightly toning the text down at the behest of Russia and China, the UN Security Council issued a unanimous resolution condemning North Korea’s recent series of missile launches in international waters and imposed sanctions – which must have come as a shock to Kim Jong Il. The July 5 launches by North Korea in defiance of international opinion, including its closest ally and neighbor China, proved to be the last straw for Moscow and Beijing, after patiently trying to shield Pyongyang against an enraged international community. More significantly, North Korea’s latest round of missile brinkmanship may have soured its relations with South Korea, whose political and economic support has been invaluable to a nation teetering on the brink of disaster.

The missiles of Summer seem to be falling most heavily on those who launched them.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 21, 2006 2:25 PM

What a shame, Jong should have played the British Open instead. Everyone (in North Korea) knows he is the greatest golfer ever.

Posted by: darryl at July 22, 2006 2:02 AM