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PacNet #9 – North Korea: Breaking the Cycle

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. North Korea decides, for whatever reason, that it is time to once again challenge the international community by conducting missile and nuclear tests. It announces a "satellite launch" and then proceeds despite international condemnation and warnings of dire consequences to test its long-range missile capabilities. The UN Security Council then debates the issue, with the US and South Korea (among others) arguing for tougher sanctions while the Chinese insist on a "prudent" response. Finally a watered-down UNSC statement or resolution is passed, to which the North Korean take great affront, promising in response to conduct another nuclear test (which had been planned all along) and to "punish" any country (but especially South Korea) that dares to enforce UNSC prohibitions.