The PJ Tatler

North Korea's Punishment: A Lecture from John Kerry

North Korea’s lame failed attempt to launch a rocket today drew condemnation from the White House, with press secretary Jay Carney saying in a statement that the “provocative action threatens regional security, violates international law and contravenes its own recent commitments.”

“The President has been clear that he is prepared to engage constructively with North Korea,” Carney said. “However, he has also insisted that North Korea live up to its own commitments, adhere to its international obligations and deal peacefully with its neighbors.”

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.) was a little more dramatic.

“Never before has so much been put in jeopardy for so little,” Kerry said in a statement.

“This failure to launch should be a moment of reconsideration and introspection for the North Koreans,” he continued. “No one in the world, including North Korea’s allies, believed this was just an attempt to launch a satellite and no one will accept their pledges to cooperate on denuclearization and lasting peace while they’re conducting rocket launches.”

Kerry said that the “continued provocations” will further isolate Pyongyang.

“Worst of all for them, it was an international spectacle that violated UN Security Council resolutions, violated recent bilateral understandings, posed a threat to regional stability and sends, at best, a mixed message about North Korea’s desire to change its relationship with the international community,” the chairman said.

Kerry’s counterpart in the House said that the rocket attempt so soon after the deal to suspend missile tests for food aid “illustrates once again that trying to negotiate with the regime is a fool’s errand.”

“Previous belligerent acts by North Korea have been met merely with slaps on the wrist at the United Nations,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) said. “The U.S. must use our current role as president of the UN Security Council to ensure North Korea is made to pay for its aggressive actions.”

The G-8 foreign ministers issued a joint statement through the State Department saying that they were “ready to consider” taking action against North Korea violating Security Council resolutions.

“Sharing the view that the launch undermines regional peace and stability, we call on the DPRK to abstain from further launches using ballistic missile technology or other actions which aggravate the situation on the Korean Peninsula,” the statement said.