North Korea and Iran – The Sanctions Farce

Both North Korea and Iran have upset the international community for years with their unending attempts to produce nuclear weapons, and it seems all the UN can do is impose sanctions against them. It is all very complicated, but in a nutshell, these mainly include banning weapons sales to North Korea and Iran, stopping aircraft or ships on the high seas bound for either country that is suspected of carrying military equipment or weapons, and preventing the travel of any person associated with the arms trade in these countries. The laughable thing about these sanctions is that the UN cannot really enforce any of them, and all countries are not given real power to do so but must do it on their own initiative!

North Korea Missile Test

North Korea Missile Test

In each case, the UN roundly condemns their actions and is demanding that both countries return to the negotiating table, refrain from further research and tests, and basically, cease all ‘provocative’ action related to nuclear weapons. Both countries take no notice of this at all. This is viewed by many as nothing more than a slap on the wrist, for the UN seems totally incapable of taking any concertive action in this matter.

Many countries have taken unilateral action against both nations, for example, apart from the weapons bans in place, Australia, Japan, South Korea, India, Israel, Switzerland, the EU and the United States have all put restrictions on the travel of business people in the country associated with that countries nuclear programme. Some countries have put an economic freeze in place by blocking, in the case of Iran for example, the foreign activities of the Bank of Iran and a ban on Iranian oil imports.

For obvious reasons this is but a snap-shot of the depth of the sanctions placed on North Korea and Iran, but the most important point is none of them are having any affect. North Korea is still carrying out nuclear tests and long-range missile development, and the only ones suffering are the poor people. In Iran it is almost impossible to buy imported luxury goods and oil revenues are down, but who the hell cares, “we are on the way to becoming a nuclear nation and sanctions will not stop us” they say!

Iran Missile Test

Iran Missile Test

When it comes down to it, both countries want to be able to stand up to ‘Uncle Sam’, and hence the nuclear weapons and long-range missiles. What these people fail to realize is that if they returned to peaceful ways they wouldn’t need to, because America among others would not be breathing down their necks every day. All they are doing by pursuing this course is to put world peace in danger.

It has been said often enough that countries like Israel and the USA may well take preventative action against Iran if it persists in its desire to have a nuclear weapon and the means to deliver it. In this respect North Korea is a bigger danger because of its huge army, and any provocation could send it hurtling into the South.

The danger from this problem is all around us, but so far no-one has been able to take any meaningful action to stop its escalation, certainly not the UN talking shop.

We could well be on the verge of a new world-wide nuclear arms race, for if North Korea eventually gets  both a nuclear weapon and a viable long-range missile it stands to reason that countries like Japan and South Korea among others will want them too. If Iran reaches its goal, what is to stop many other Middle East states from wanting the same thing for protection?

It would seem to this simple soul that a complete turnaround is required. The UN and all its members should perhaps ask North Korea to sign a proper peace agreement with the South that finally closes the Korean War chapter, in return they would receive full financial and domestic aid to rid the country of its poverty without meddling in its internal political system. If countries could pour billions of dollars into the country and ‘bring it into the 21st century’ it would enrich the lives of every man woman and child, and Kim Jong Un would be immortalised for bringing true prosperity to the nation. Yea! I know, sounds too far-fetched but worth a try?

Iranian Nuclear Sites

Iranian Nuclear Sites

Iran is of course a totally different situation because it is already a prosperous nation, so what could we do for them? Well, for a start we could stop threatening them and give them assurances they will be left in peace to prosper as they wish. I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but maybe the first step is to ask them what they want in exchange for the cessation of their nuclear activities. But the one trouble with this prickly nation is its involvement with terrorist organizations such as al Quada and Hezbollah to whom they have long been known to give their backing.

It’s a very difficult situation with currently no end in sight, but one thing is for sure, sanctions are not going to bring these two belligerents to the negotiating table, far from it, it is likely to make them more determined. Perhaps it will take every nation on the planet to line up its guns, tanks and combat aircraft on the borders of these two countries and threaten to invade before they will listen, but the chances of that happening are zero I should imagine. Either way, I hope someone comes up with a sane idea to end the standoff before we all become embroiled in another war the likes of which we have never experienced. Suggestions anyone?

Roy.

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