UN threatens North Korea after nuclear test

The UN Security Council has threatened Pyongyang with "further significant measures" after North Korea carried out its second nuclear test this year. But neither threats nor stricter sanctions will deter Kim Jong-un, commentators fear - at least not as long as China remains idle.

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Jyllands-Posten (DK) /

No leverage against Kim Jong-un

After this latest nuclear test it is clear that the international community has little means of exerting pressure on North Korea and dictator Kim Jong-un, Jyllands-Posten believes:

“The sweeping sanctions that have already been put into place against Pyongyang have hardly made any impression on Kim. He may be under pressure but clearly he has his people's trust, also because he's had several people in his immediate entourage executed. China doesn't seem to know how to react. On the one hand it doesn't seem that fond of its official ally. Firstly because it's so unpredictable and secondly because it doesn't give communism a particularly modern face. On the other hand China makes a point of preferring North Korea to the US. Kim is not acting unreasonably, bearing in mind his personal survival strategy. ... The world is at his beck and call and doesn't want to ruffle his feathers. This emergence of a new Dr. Strangelove - the dreaded nuclear expert in Stanley Kubrick's classic film - is no coincidence. Unfortunately.”

Le Temps (CH) /

Peace treaty with South Korea the only solution

International sanctions like the ones enforced after each new North Korean nuclear test to date have no impact whatsoever, Le Temps complains:

“China, fears a collapse of the North Korean regime more than anything else, and this is what motivates it to keep the economy of its little neighbour afloat. That makes any sanctions against the North ineffectual. Such measures won't bring the last totalitarian regime on the planet to its knees - to say nothing of its young leader. Kim Jong-un will be able to continue strengthening his position until the revival of the talks with South Korea, which will come about at the price of sweeping aid in exchange for the freezing of its nuclear programme. ... Sixty-three years after the signing of a ceasefire between the two Koreas, a peace treaty has yet to come about. Nevertheless this is the only way to defuse North Korea's nuclear programme.”

NRC Handelsblad (NL) /

The world needs to take Pyongyang seriously

For North Korea the nuclear tests are more than just a way of making itself heard, NRC Handelsblad explains:

“This is the way this Stalinist isolationist state communicates with the rest of the world, some say. After all, this bitterly poor country is not a member of international forums like the G20. … But rather than seeing North Korea's nuclear threat as a negotiating tactic we could also interpret the tests as a crucial component of its national security policy. North Korea mirrors countries like India and Pakistan which have used their nuclear programmes to force the US to respect them. … The inability of the most powerful states to avert this impending disaster is alarming. North Korea and its dictator Kim Jong Un have always been the butt of many jokes. Now it's time to take this country very seriously.”