Now Can We Put North Korea Back on the Terrorism List?

Fear not! It seems there is a secret plan to deal once and for all with the murderous totalitarians running the rogue regime of North Korea. The U.S. government, together with the United Nations, is going to bore them to death.

OK, just kidding. But as the sophisticates of the "international community" yak on about penalizing North Korea for the March 26th torpedoing and sinking of a South Korean war ship, the Cheonan, any sane person looking in on this scene might well wonder if this is all just some sort of tedious diplomatic spring ritual -- long on diplo-talk, but short on any action that really matters. It's now two months since North Korea with an unprovoked attack sank the Cheonan, drowning 46 members of the crew. Definitive evidence has been presented that a North Korean submarine committed this act of war. But if Kim Jong Il is tuning in to the remarks of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, what he heard her say on Monday, in response to a press question about whether the U.S. would support additional United Nations sanctions on North Korea, was: "We are obviously continuing to review and consult closely on these matters... ."

Hmm. Kim must be quaking in his elevator shoes.

Over at the UN, Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has just interrupted his own la-la-land perorations about a world free of nuclear weapons to pronounce himself "confident" that in response to the sinking of the Cheonan, the Security Council will, with all its usual competence and integrity, take "measures appropriate to the gravity of the situation." This would be the same Security Council which since 2006, with two sanctions resolutions against North Korea and three against Iran, has failed to stop either the North Korean or Iranian nuclear programs. For that matter, this is the same Ban Ki-Moon who prior to taking charge at the UN played a lively part as foreign minister of South Korea in the launch of that grand failure known as the Six-Party Talks -- which dispensed all sorts of largesse to Kim, while spanning North Korea's first nuclear test, in 2006, and serving as prelude to North Korea's second nuclear test, in 2009.

Not that there's been a complete lack of action in recent days. South Korea has announced it is cutting off all trade with North Korea -- all trade, that is, except the trade that will not be halted, plus humanitarian aid (which has a long record of helping to sustain Kim Jong Il's regime). Joshua Stanton on his One Free Korea blog has a good rundown of the loopholes.