House Passes New Sanctions on North Korea
by Stephen Lendman
US-style diplomacy features sticks, not carrots, especially in dealings with sovereign independent governments it wants toppled - color revolutions and naked aggression its favorite strategies.
On Thursday, House members passed the so-called Korea Interdiction and Modernization of Sanctions Act (HR 1644), strengthening existing sanctions by:
"Expand(ing) (them) to deter North Korea's nuclear weapons program.
Target(ing) those overseas who employ (alleged) North Korean slave labor…
Crack(ing) down on North Korean shipping and use of international ports; and
Requir(ing) the administration to determine whether North Korea is a state sponsor of terrorism."
The measure aims to antagonize Pyongyang more than already and cripple its economy, heightening tensions, not easing them if the bill becomes law - virtually certain, maybe in revised form.
The House vote was near unanimous - 419 - 1. According to House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Ed Royce (R. CA), "North Korea poses an urgent threat to the United States and our allies."
"In less than four years, the regime may be capable of targeting the entire US homeland with a nuclear missile."
"The threat from North Korea is real, and real threats demand real responses. This bill gives the administration a powerful tool to cut off North Korea's funding by going after those who do business with the regime."
Fact: North Korea poses no threat to any nation unless preemptively attacked.
Fact: It wants nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles as deterrents against possible US aggression, no other reason.
On Friday, Russia's Deputy Prime Minister and Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District Yury Trutnev blasted House members for wanting US inspection authority over Chinese, Iranian, Syrian and Russian ports, saying:
Washington "should deal with (its own) affairs. "As for our ports, we have quite enough government agencies and supervisory bodies that are able to control the fulfillment of all international obligations that Russia has assumed."
Russian upper house Federation Council international affairs committee chairman Konstantin Kosachev called forced inspections of Russian ports or ships "beyond comprehension because it means a declaration of war."
Russia, China, Iran, Syria and other countries won't tolerate America inspecting its ports or ships. House legislation likely to become law heightens tensions when cooling things off is badly needed.
Separately, neocons John McCain and Lindsey Graham called for tougher sanctions on Russia, chiding Congress for failure to act, outrageously accusing Moscow of "attack(ing) American democracy."
No attack occurred, no Russian US election hacking, none against any other country. No US democracy exists - neocon-infested fascist governance running things.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.