Monday, April 6, 2009
UN Security Council Wastes Great New York Weekend
Security Council members welcome
With temperatures in the 60s, this was a weekend in New York City for roller blading in Central Park, playing basketball, riding bikes, tossing balls and Frisbees and going for walks. It wasn't a weekend for wasting time in a stuffy building on the East River debating the North Korean rocket launch just for the sake of political posturing.
The emergency meeting of the UN Security Council proved to be a waste of time and effort. And sunshine.
Once again and true to form, the Security Council failed to reach a consensus on an issue that was so pressing that they met in emergency session. And once again, permanent members the United States, the UK and France took one side. Permanent members Russia and China the other.
True to form and totally predictable.
What exactly happened with the weekend North Korean missile launch? It depends on who you're listening to.
The North Koreans claim they were launching a satellite to beam patriotic music back to the northern part of the peninsula. They claim the launch was successful and everyone in North Korea would be listening to the music - if only they had electricity.
The Japanese, South Koreans and Americans agree that the rocket, after it overflew Japan, landed harmlessly in the Pacific Ocean. Basically, they are calling the launch a "dud," though the United States is very concerned that the distance the "failed" rocket traveled is twice any previous North Korean launch. In other words, the North Koreans could, if they developed a nuclear war head, theoretically attack its enemies. Including, presumably, portions of the United States.
In President Obama's mind, the situation was grave enough to highlight it in a Prague speech about nuclear disarmament. It was also so serious to call the Security Council into an emergency meeting. Security Council members, their staff and reporters then wasted a perfectly good Sunday in New York. In a meeting whose conclusions were pretty much well foregone before it was even called.
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Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jnc/3416344373/