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October 10, 2006
Kim: Just Another Shrimp On The Barbie

The Australians have stepped up to the plate, as they always do when tyrants threaten global security, in the wake of the North Korean nuclear test. They didn't bother to wait for the UN Security Council to slap sanctions on the Kim Jong-Il regime, and told the UN that they had better snap to it themselves:

Australia will impose a range of measures on North Korea, including curtailing visas and supporting any U.N. sanctions, in response to the country's nuclear test, Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said Tuesday. ...

"We were urging our friends and allies in the United Nations to pass a resolution imposing sanctions," Downer told reporters.

Downer said the nuclear test had made the region less secure, and that North Korea had "humiliated" its biggest ally, China.

Australia has diplomatic relations with North Korea, restoring them six years ago after Pyongyang insisted that it would behave itself and stop making nuclear weapons. After this test, Australia considered ending the relationship again, but decided that having the North Korean ambassador in Canberra to scold was a better idea. Downer did just that yesterday, calling Chon Jae-hong to express Australia's displeasure at the latest lunacy from Dear Leader.

Downer also took an opportunity to support Condoleezza Rice. He told the press that Rice had worked tirelessly to garner a consensus among the leading nations for tough action against Kim Jong-Il. The two diplomats had spent time earlier in the day discussing strategies for handling the crisis, and Downer apparently decided to lead by example. (The US already has a comprehensive sanctions regime against North Korea.)

Australia has a significant role to play in this Asian power play. The Western nation has long been a bastion of freedom in that part of the world, and its own economy competes in the same arena that China wants to dominate. As always, the Aussies don't rely on platitudes and wishful thinking when protecting their own interests -- or ours, for that matter.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at October 10, 2006 5:45 AM

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» Australia Acts Unilaterally On NK Sanctions from Blue Crab Boulevard
Captain Ed notes that the Australian government has slapped sanctions on North Korea unilaterally in the wake of the miniature madman of Pyongyang's latest misadventure. The Australians have stepped up to the plate, as they always do when... [Read More]

Tracked on October 10, 2006 3:26 PM

» And if you thought that was something.... from Public Secrets: from the files of the Irishspy
Looks like the Dear Loon Leader has struck again: USA Today reports that an unnamed North Korean source has threatened to fire a nuclear missile at the US, unless we do whatever it is they want: The North, meanwhile, stepped [Read More]

Tracked on October 10, 2006 4:03 PM


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