Griffs Notes 10/16/06

I don’t recommend watching live United Nations debate as a substitute for entertainment television, but I will admit that I was glued to the UN tube on Saturday afternoon. And the star was the brash US ambassador to the UN John Bolton.

The UN Security Council unanimously approved sanctions this weekend against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) for its nuclear proliferation violation last week. Today, US testing confirmed that it was in fact a nuke.

These sanctions as outlined in UN Resolution 1718 are being called “swift” and “tough” and are aimed at forcing the Dear Leader into forgoing his nuclear ambitions. Specifically, the sanctions “prevent the provision of nuclear technology, large-scale weapons and luxury goods to North Korea and permits the inspection of cargo to ensure compliance,” according to a UN press release.

The DPRK’s ambassador to the UN, Pak Gil Yon, responded childishly to the passage of the resolution by calling it a “gangster-like” action and rendered the UN Security Council to have “totally lost its impartiality.” He issued a broad threat saying that increased “pressure” from the United States “will be considered an act of war,” and then he got up and walked out.

Bad Move… John Bolton is not the type of guy you want to bad mouth, threaten and walk out on.

“I’m not going to waste any of this council’s time on responding to the representative from DPRK, but I would call your attention to that empty chair,” Bolton said pointing to the DPRK’s seat. Bolton highlighted that on three separate occasions in the past three months, DPRK’s representative has walked out of the unilateral talks.

So what does the future hold? It’s quite clear that North Korea has no intentions of halting their nuclear program. It’s also clear that the US does not intend to get entangled in another war anytime soon. And there can be little doubt that the US alone has no leverage in the negotiation, so it is critical to have the support of the regional partners.

John Bolton’s ability to diplomatically bully reluctant member states on the UN Security Council into taking swift action in an escalating nuclear standoff may be the world’s best hope for a brighter future. Tough times tend to call for touch measures and one thing we can be sure of is Bolton’s commitment to toughness.

So don’t touch that UN dial – we’ll be right back with more of John “The Bull” Bolton when we return… Will Venezuela get a non-permanent seat on the Security Council?!

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