Well, here we are. North Korea says it has conducted a nuclear test. The moment is nigh for the United Nations to follow through on its threat to retaliate with “unspecified action.”
In the UN arsenal of inanities, that could of course mean anything from the Security Council expressing “deep concern” to the World Food Progam doubling its 2006 allocation of $102 million worth of aid — on Kim Jong Il’s terms — for “transitional assistance.”
But seriously, if the UN has any interest whatsoever in addressing the clear and present danger of a nuclear-bomb-brandishing North Korea, there is something the UN could do, pronto. It could expel North Korea. That might not solve the long-festering problem of a totalitarian state that to this day runs a Stalin-style gulag, peddles missiles, narcotics and counterfeit currency, and has starved to death at least one million of its own people and staked its fortunes on a nuclear arsenal. But kicking North Korea out of the UN would at least provide the sort of minimal diplomatic gesture of which the UN is presumably capable. And for those inside North Korea who harbor well-founded doubts about the wisdom of their sociopathic “Dear Leader” and his murderous retinue, such a move would almost certainly come as valuable encouragement.
The UN charter, Chapter II, on membership, spells out in Article 4 that seats are open to “peace-loving states which accept the obligations contained in the present charter,” and adds in Article 6 that “A member of the United Nations which has persistently violated the Principles contained in the present Charter may be expelled from the Organization by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council.”
Recall that North Korea was admitted to the UN only relatively recently, on the same day as South Korea — Sept. 17, 1991 — in one of those politically-morally-idiotically neutral gestures that have become a trademark of UN policy. Since then, North Korea’s regime has cheated on its nuclear freeze deals, sopped up free fuel and food from the Free World, and set the pace for nuclear-extortion rackets which rogue nations are eyeing with glee, and Iran has clearly embraced.
What has the UN contributed to all this? Money and prestige for Kim Jong-Il; a seat as a member of — I’m not kidding –the UN Conference on Disarmament; and a General Assembly stage upon which Kim’s reprentative, Choe Su Hon, had a chance just last month to strut, fret, and luxuriate in UN membership, along with such notables as Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez. By now, as North Korea’s regime celebrates its first declared nuclear test, the very least the UN could do is yank the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea placard from its place in the General Assembly hall, revoke all DPRK passes for the UN grounds, and tell Kim and his representative “excellencies” to get out.