That tensions are on the rise on the Korean Peninsula on any given day is one of the safest bets in foreign policy. A close second is that the United States will maintain it is entirely North Korea’s fault.
Today the UN Security Council had an emergency meeting to try to do something about what both sides see as an inevitable resumption of hostilities Monday, and once again, on the back of US demands to ensure that all the blame was assigned to the North, failed to pass a resolution.
The US draft, supported by the NATO member nations, sought to “deplore” North Korea and condemn them and demand that they stand aside while South Korea conducts its latest “drill” in disputed waters. Russia and China sought a simpler bill encouraging both sides to avoid escalating tensions, prompting a condemnation from the US.
With both sides seemingly not only willing to go to war over this latest row but salivating at the prospect, there is surely ample blame to go around. South Korea’s decision to follow up a drill that led to an open exchange of shelling with an identical drill seems designed exclusively to placate the hawks demanding a new provocation, and North Korea’s rhetoric is so ridiculously harsh it can only ensure that South Korea could not possibly back down.
It seems clear that everybody loses in the resumption of a shooting war in the heavily armed peninsula, but it seems even the modest efforts that might have been taken to avoid this have fallen victim to the international community’s obsession with muddying up calls to avoid wars with assignments of blame that would be favorable to certain interested nations.