By Jason Miks
North Korea has defied the international community by launching a satellite into space. But even as questions remain over how much control Pyongyang actually has over the satellite, policymakers are considering how to respond to what the U.S. described as a "provocative" move.
Writing on CNN, Joe Cirincione, president of global security foundation Ploughshares Fund, argued today that although the launch represents a notable technological step for North Korea, it does not pose a serious military threat to the U.S. or other nations.
“If the past is any guide, North Korea's launch of an Unha-3 rocket will have international security repercussions far out of proportion to its military capability,” he wrote.
Still, the launch is being taken seriously by Washington, which is leading the global response, including at the United Nations where the issue is reportedly considered urgent.
“The United States and other nations may impose unilateral measures, senior administration officials warned. But Pyongyang has ignored such threats before,” wrote CNN’s Josh Lev, who noted the views of George Lopez, a professor with the University of Notre Dame's Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, who last year served on a U.N. panel of experts monitoring sanctions already in place against North Korea.
The council’s sanctions committee could, Lopez suggested, add more North Korean entities to the sanctions list, or could also do more to enforce sanctions already in place, for example by increasing inspections of cargo leaving North Korea to ensure no weapons technology is being shipped out.
So what can – and should – the international community do to tighten the screws on a country where already an estimated one-fourth of the country’s 24 million people are malnourished, and where two-thirds rely on government rations to survive?
GPS would like to hear readers’ views on what the U.S. should do next.