And the world is heading down a bad road. It may be sooner, it may be later, but we have collectively missed a big chance here.
UNITED NATIONS (AP) – Russia and China on Thursday opposed tough sanctions the U.S. wants to impose against North Korea this week for its claimed nuclear test, saying they want more time to work out a more moderate response to Pyongyang's nuclear brinkmanship.
The United States and Japan, which has already imposed tough unilateral sanctions on the North to protest the reported test Monday, had initially hoped for a U.N. Security Council vote on Thursday. But if Washington wants to get China and Russia – the two council nations closest to Pyongyang – on board, a vote could be delayed until early next week.
China, the North's closest ally, opposes any mention of the U.N. Charter's Chapter 7, which authorizes punishments including economic sanctions, naval blockades and military actions. China and Russia want to see sanctions focus primarily on reining in North Korea's nuclear and weapons programs.
Beijing and Moscow also object to the wide scope of financial sanctions and a provision authorizing the inspection of cargo going in and out of North Korea, council diplomats said, speaking on condition of anonymity because talks are private. There is concern among some diplomats that boarding North Korean ships could lead to a military response from the North.
China reportedly will not back sanctions authorized under chapter 7 of the UN Charter. Most of the strongest language has been backed out. Ahmadinejad now knows how far he can go – he can test a nuke and not face sanctions. Why the hell would he back off. The world is heading for an arms race in two areas, the Far and the Middle Easts. The clock is ticking now.