North Korea situation requires restraint

Marketplace Staff Oct 12, 2006
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North Korea situation requires restraint

Marketplace Staff Oct 12, 2006
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TEXT OF STORY

MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: Yesterday President Bush asked the UN Security Council to make sure North Korea doesn’t sell any nuclear technology. That might not be so easy. Amelia Templeton reports.


AMELIA TEMPLETON: Most countries agree with the U.S. that economic sanctions are the best response to North Korea’s suspected nuclear test.

What’s tricky is figuring out how much of a squeeze to put on the North Korean economy.

John Wolfsthal is a fellow at the center for strategic and international studies. He says squeezing too hard might backfire.

JOHN WOLFSTHAL: We have to ask ourselves the question, if we sanction North Korea so heavily that the leaderships feels they need currency at any cost, would they then sell a nuclear weapon to another country or terrorist group.

The North Koreans have hinted that they might do just that. And Wolfsthal says they’d find plenty of willing buyers in the Middle East.

WOLFSTHAL: They’ve sold ballistic missiles in the past to Iran, to Syria, to Pakistan and to Yemen. The list of potential client states really reads like a bad list of rogue countries.

The threat to sell might be a bluff, but Wolfsthal says it puts the UN in a tough spot as it debates appropriate sanctions.

I’m Amelia Templeton for Marketplace.

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