U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley votes in favor of a resolution, Friday, Dec. 22, 2017, at United Nations headquarters. The Security Council is voting on proposed new sanctions against North Korea, including sharply lower limits on its refined oil imports, the return home of all North Koreans working overseas within 12 months, and a crackdown on the country’s shipping. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
This is a lesson to be learned for the giddy left who were proclaiming the US to be isolated at the United Nations in the wake of the shameful vote of the UN General Assembly yesterday to condemn the United States for exercising its sovereign right to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Even as the vote was taking place, Nikki Haley’s staff was circulating a no-notice resolution to tighten sanctions on North Korea and asking for a vote today:
The United States circulated a proposed resolution to the United Nations Security Council on Thursday that would further choke North Korea’s economy, with a near total ban on fuel imports, a tightening of restrictions on shipping and a one-year deadline for most North Korean laborers working under contracts abroad to go home.
Security Council diplomats said the resolution — a response to North Korea’s test of an intercontinental ballistic missile a month ago — represented a significant squeeze on the North, which imports all of its refined fuel and relies on remittances from thousands of workers sent abroad as a major source of income. The resolution is likely to be put to a vote on Friday in the 15-member Council.
For an “isolated” nation to pursue this strategy would be delusional. But for a strong nation, confident in its goals and dismissive of the nonsense that passes for diplomacy at the UN, it signals that the vote of the mob is of no import. Which was it?
The United Nations Security Council imposed new sanctions on North Korea on Friday that significantly choke off new fuel supplies and order North Koreans working overseas to return home within two years, in what may prove the last test of whether any amount of economic pressure can force it to reverse course on its nuclear program.
The sanctions, adopted by a vote of 15 to 0, were the third imposed this year in an escalating effort to force the North into negotiations. China and Russia joined in the resolution, though American officials have charged that in recent months the Russians have secretly been opening new links to the North, including new internet connections that give the country an alternative to communicating primarily through China.
Under the new sanctions, oil exports will be limited to their current level, which has already begun to result in shortages around the country. Countries around the world will be ordered to expel North Korean workers, a key source of hard currency. Nations would also be urged to inspect all North Korean shipping and halt ship-to-ship transfers of fuel, which the North has used to evade sanctions.
If the US was truly isolated and ineffectual, Russia or China would have vetoed the resolution. Or one of the Security Council members would have voted no. That didn’t happen.
The reason for the response of the Security Council is two-fold. First and foremost, they know the administration is going to pursue its goals regardless of international opposition and if the UNSC hopes to have a voice it is in the best interests of that body to cooperate. Second, neither Russia nor China want the US and the DPRK at war. They’ve apparently arrived at the same conclusion that I have, that war is rapidly becoming the least bad option available to the United States. This vote is an effort to avert that war, or at least give the appearance of trying to do so.
The world may snipe at us over meaningless chickensh** like the Jerusalem resolution, but, in the words of philosopher and terrorist asshole Osama bin Laden, “When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature, they will like the strong horse.” We are becoming the strong horse again.