Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Deja Vu of the UN Option

Found this today;

UN Options

Calling a Security Council Meeting. This would gain maximum publicity but we could not obtain any action and we would force the Soviets to defend the North Koreans.

Present a letter to the Security Council. This gets our position on the record but with little publicity and appears perfunctory.

Nothing to do with the Cheonan sinking, instead it is the minutes of a National Security Council meeting on April 16th, 1969 following the downing, probably in international waters, of a U.S. Navy Lockheed EC-121 reconnaissance plane by North Korea.

Elsewhere in the documents, which have been declassified and placed on the internet by the people at the U.S. National Security Archive at George Washington University under the prescient title "How Do You Solve A Problem Like Korea?", it is revealed that the U.S. contemplated up to 47 nuclear strikes against the North, but ultimately rejected the use of any military force whatsoever because "air strikes against military targets in North Korea “will be a deliberate act of war” and, thereafter, “North Korea may respond by launching air strikes against US/ROK forces.”

Proof, then, if proof were needed, that the more things change the more they stay the same. Of course the Soviets are gone, and the Chinese are unlikely to start banging their shoes on the UN Security Council lectern, but cosmetic changes do not the substance change.

Which is not to say that the UN is an unhelpful or worthless institution, or anything else which Joshua Stanton might conclude, or indeed to say we should bomb North Korea back into the Stone Age, simply to ponder aloud whether the current situation is anything new, and that, from there, if one concludes that previous efforts didn't succeed, is it wise to do the same thing again?

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