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martes, 13 de febrero de 2018

After gushing media coverage, North Korea angrily lashes out against sanctions

Just days after the Western press gushed over North Korea at the Olympic Games, the communist nation slammed increasingly harsh U.N. sanctions levied against its regime Monday.

While tensions between the two Koreas appeared to thaw amid the Games, it remains to be seen whether the North will actually change.

Appeasement is not going to work with North Korea. President Trump understands that North Korea responds to toughness.

North Korea slams sanctions

Just days after receiving fawning media coverage, North Korea reminded the world on Monday that it hasn’t changed.

The regime slammed “despicable” and “criminal” U.N. sanctions, re-iterating calls for an international body of law experts to challenge their legality.

“This clearly proves that the U.N. Security Council, overpowered by high-handedness and arbitrariness of the U.S., has only turned into the tool of infringement upon people’s right and barbarous state sponsored terrorism,” a statement said.

The regime again asked U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday to form a group of international law experts to clarify the legality of the sanctions. North Korea said the sanctions are challenging the “right to exist” of its people and pose a transgression of the nation’s sovereignty.

“Such illegal ‘sanctions resolutions’ [hinder] and threaten exercise of human rights of our people,” the statement says.

North Korea first called for an international law forum a year ago, but the Security Council turned down the request on the grounds that  North Korea’s increasingly dangerous nuclear capabilities designate the regime an international threat warranting sanctions.

The regime has all but ignored the sanctions which, if followed, would severely restrict trade into and out of the nation. North Korea reportedly made $200 million in illegal exports over nine months last year.

The media and the thaw

Western media took North Korea’s propaganda campaign hook, line and sinker this weekend, pushing a rosy view of a regime that is considered among the most repressive and barbarous in the world.

If the media was just looking for an excuse to trash Trump and Pence, that would be as despicable as it is predicable. If, instead, the media was looking for a reason to celebrate North Korea’s apparent willingness to be diplomatic, that decision was premature.

While tensions did seem to ease at the games, and North Korea reportedly invited South Korean President Moon Jae-In to a summit in Pyongyang, the regime’s latest denunciation of sanctions leave its commitment to reconciliation in doubt. Even as the peninsular neighbors make cautious steps toward reconciliation, South Korea, Japan, and the U.S. remain committed to isolating the North over its nuclear weapons program, according to Mike Pence.

To recognize North Korea as part of the international community like the media did this weekend will only allow North Korea to avoid correcting its egregious human rights record. A thawing of tensions is desirable, but only on the condition that North Korea becomes a nation worth recognizing.

We should be wary about praising North Korea unless it changes. We’re better off with Trump’s approach: be tough, drive hard, and don’t let up on the pressure.

Dictatorial regimes must be opposed rather than appeased. North Korea should be grateful to the Western media for amplifying its cult message of North Korean greatness at the Games – a message belied by the brutal reality of life in the regime, where citizens are imprisoned without cause, starved, tortured, and killed.

For as long as North Korea continues to pose an international threat, it should expect international sanctions in kind. We should not, as the media has done, embrace an evil regime unless and until it changes.