On Tuesday, North Korea test-fired as many as seven missiles, including one ICBM capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to the continental United States, in defiance of international warnings. For Every Action, an Equal and Opposite Reaction... Except at the U.N.

Got any doubts about ineffectiveness and ineptitude of the U.N.? Consider this...

On Tuesday, North Korea test-fired as many as seven missiles, including one ICBM capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to the continental United States, in defiance of international warnings.

On Wednesday morning, the Security Council met in emergency session. There was a time when such a session would have begun immediately, perhaps in the wee hours of the morning. Not so today. The Council sat down at the more leisurely hour of 9 a.m. local time. And they talked.

All day they gabbed. All day ambassadors and other officials and functionaries ducked into quiet hallways, discussing what could be done.

Japan, a potential target well within range of North Korea's arsenal, circulated a draft resolution calling for common-sense sanctions. Specifically, the Japanese proposal sought to "ban any country from transferring funds, material and technology that could be used in North Korea's missile and weapons of mass destruction programs," according to the Associated Press.

Let's be clear. The Japanese didn't suggest tough economic sanctions or even an outright ban on the import or export of any and all military hardware – steps that seem entirely reasonable given North Korea's recent aggressive behavior, its status as the number one proliferator of dangerous weapons, and its traditional hostility to, well, everybody.

Instead, the Japanese took a more conciliatory approach, offering a proposal that was both reasonable and practical.

And the Security Council said no.

Indeed, after hours of discussions, the Security Council adjourned its emergency session without doing anything. The Council's members could only agree to meet again and, eventually, issue a statement.

Needless to say, the opposition to acting was led by veto-wielding Security Council members China and Russia, both of which seem interested in maintaining their long friendship with North Korea and its lunatic dictator. It's not a stretch to suggest that both have more than a passing financial interest as each is likely selling spare parts, equipment and expertise to the North Koreans.

As of this writing, it was unclear what might happen next. Our money is on nothing. The impasse will continue and the Security Council will again fail to hold the North Koreans to account.

Meanwhile, on the very day that North Korea was firing its missiles, the supposedly reformed U.N. Human Rights Council met in Geneva. The result? Yet another resolution condemning Israel.

And the band played on...

July 7, 2006
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