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July 7, 2006
Japan Insists On Sanctions

Despite earlier reports that Japan would back away from demanding sanctions against North Korea for its missile launches this week, the new draft circulated by Japan retains its demands for economic sanctions in defiance of Russian and Chinese opposition:

Japan circulated a new draft Security Council resolution Friday that retains the threat of sanctions against North Korea, ignoring Chinese and Russian concerns of inflaming tensions with the isolated communist nation.

No other details have yet come out about this development, but apparently Japan has not backed down from its demand for tangible consequences for Kim's fireworks display.

UPDATE: The AP has updated the story with more details. The draft declares that the UNSC will "take those steps necessary" to keep Pyongyang from acquiring material that could be used in their missile program. Given that the North Koreans just launched seven of them and plan to launch a few more, the issue of material for replacements might cause them a little concern. The same could be applied to the source material for rocket fuel, and an energy embargo would hurt Kim's regime badly.

Russia and China will have to face this resolution soon, possibly as early as Sunday. If they veto the resolution, likely Japan will start to consider its own options. They include termination of trade and assistance to Kim's regime, and perhaps even nuclearization as a MAD deterrent to Kim's provocations. The Chinese will not like that option one bit, and even the consideration of such an option (which might be a tough sell to the Japanese anyway) will prompt China to finally get serious about reeling their client state back into a rational frame of mind.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at July 7, 2006 10:14 AM

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