Tag Archives: un

The World Is Coming Up Guns

30 Mar

Arms-Sprouting PolypsAmnesty International supports an international arms trade and condemns Iran, North Korea, and Syria for their “cynical” opposition.

Despite overwhelming support for the treaty, some states still use huge economic interest, the exercise of political power and even claims of sovereignty to justify acts that are patently reprehensible such as the targeting and killing of their own citizens.

OK, so what the US Senate’s excuse for opposing what sounds like the international law equivalent of kittens and puppies?

It’s a rare day when the US Senate finds itself on the same side as Assad and the mullahs, but that’s exactly what’s happening now. The Senate voted last week 53-46 in favor of an amendment to defeat the treaty, indicating that the 67 votes required to ratify it are pretty much out of the question.

Of course the Senate is responding to a very different set of concerns. Jacksonian Americans are skeptical about ceding authority over US interests to an international body and are already stirred up about the new push for gun control at home. This has made them liable to lash out at this new treaty even harder.

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The Long View On North Korea Not Taken (Video)

21 Mar

Ri Tong-il in the CrosshairsFormer United States ambassador to South Korea, Christopher Hill, and Christine Hong, Assistant Professor at UC- Santa Cruz and Executive Board Member of the Korea Policy Institute (KPI) had a tête-à-tête at HuffPost Live (via UN Dispatch). The issue was the long view, both historically and geopolitically on China (Hong) versus recent North Korean provocations and the parts of the diplomatic history when Amb. Hill can speak with authority. Hill provided very little that he hasn’t said before. I’m glad Heather Hurlburt set the record straight about just how pathetic North Korea’s missile and nuke capabilities are, exposing how threadbare its bluster is. And, Mark Goldberg makes a case for humanitarian aid regardless of the diplomatic situation.

North Korea’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations couldn’t make international law sound provocative.

Nuclear weapons are possessed by only a very small number of countries, while conventional weapons are of a very sensitive character, with a direct bearing on all countries’ security,” Ri [Dong-il] said. He went on to say, “the importance of forming a treaty to completely eliminate nuclear weapons” should be reflected in the conventional weapons treaty. Ri also said it was “easily predictable” that “the continued preemptive nuclear strike policies of the biggest nuclear nation [the US] will lead in the end to more countries possessing nuclear weapons.” He also made reference to the US missile defense system, which he said, “hints at ambitions of absolute nuclear supremacy” and “possesses the risk of setting off a potential nuclear arms race.”

And, what was wrong with the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty? Can North Korea be trusted with any treaty?

Props to Christine Hong for taking on the ‘pivot’.

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A Conclave Of Blowhards

19 Mar

PanmunjomThis sounds ominous (dum da dum…da dum).

The Pentagon said the US had informed China, North Korea’s neighbour and closest ally, of its decision to add more interceptors but declined to characterise Beijing’s reaction.

The US defence secretary, Chuck Hagel, announced plans on Friday to bolster American missile defences in response to “irresponsible and reckless provocations” by North Korea, which has threatened a pre-emptive nuclear strike against the US.

A senior US military official visiting Seoul sent a message to both Koreas: warning Pyongyang over recent threats and reassuring South Korea that military backing won’t be hurt by a congressional budget debate.

The deputy secretary of defence, Ashton Carter, said on Monday that Pyongyang’s threats would only deepen Washington’s defence commitment to Seoul. He said that includes a “nuclear umbrella” security guarantee for Seoul, which doesn’t have atomic weapons.

Ashton said deep US budget cuts won’t alter Pentagon efforts to make South Korean security a priority.

Enter the B-52s (via The Marmot’s Hole).

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