The Trump administration has relentlessly pressured other nations to band together to reprimand North Korea for continuing to build its nuclear weapon program and seems it seems to be paying off.
“Mexico, Peru, Spain and Kuwait all expelled their North Korean ambassadors after the U.S. warned that Pyongyang was using its embassies to ship contraband and possibly weapons components in diplomatic pouches and earn currency for the regime. Italy became the latest country to do so on Oct. 1,” writes The Wall Street Journal. “Kuwait and Qatar, among other countries, have agreed to reduce the presence of North Korean guest workers, according to U.S. officials and people familiar with the matter.”
More than 20 nations have implemented restrictions on North Korea.
These actions follow an announcement made last month when the U.N. Security Council agreed to place strict sanctions on North Korea. These are toughest in history to ever be placed on the country.
“Today, we are attempting to take the future of the North Korean nuclear program out of the hands of its outlaw regime,” said Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. “Today, we are saying the world will never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea. And today the Security Council is saying if North Korea does not halt its nuclear program, we will act to stop it ourselves.”
The sanctions were put on the country in an effort to injure North Korea economically. Limits were set on North Korea’s oil imports and all textile exports were banned.
The U.S. had even more aggressive demands, but ultimately compromised on the latest sanctions.
“The new sanctions come on top of previous ones that cut into North Korea’s exports of coal, iron ore and seafood. Haley said that more than 90 percent of North Korea’s reported exports are now fully banned by sanctions,” writes The Washington Post. “The new sanctions ratchet up the pressure on North Korea, though they are far less sweeping than what Washington originally sought after Pyongyang carried out its sixth and most potent nuclear test Sept. 3. But the United States agreed to drop several key demands, and toned down others, to keep China and Russia from exercising their veto over the measure.”
Although the recent U.S. pressure has had an obvious effect on other nations, President Donald Trump has alluded that diplomacy hasn’t been enough.
“Presidents and their administrations have been talking to North Korea for 25 years, agreements made and massive amounts of money paid,” tweeted Trump over the weekend. “Hasn’t worked, agreements violated before the ink was dry, makings fools of U.S. negotiators. Sorry, but only one thing will work!”
Last weekend, Trump tweeted that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was “wasting his time” by considering a meeting with North Korea.
On Thursday, the President met with military leaders to discuss the North Korea threat.
White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said that Trump’s Twitter message over the weekend “is clearly telegraphing—and this should not be news to anybody—is that military options are on the table with North Korea. They absolutely are.”
Experts in the U.S. intelligence generally agree with Trump and think that it is unlikely that North Korea will ever halt its nuclear program since it’s the “regime’s ticket to survival.”
Author’s note: Although North Korea probably won’t stop building up a nuclear weapon arsenal, the recent consequences put in place by so many nations are a step in the right direction. However, Kim Jong Un is unpredictable and instead could only blame the U.S. more for the recent actions of the other nations.