There’s no military option. And, as usual with Sino-Russian terrorist client states, there’s no significant diplomatic option either:

The latest U.S. proposal, obtained by The Associated Press on Wednesday night, would still require countries to freeze all assets related to North Korea’s weapons and missile programs. But a call to freeze assets from other illicit activities such as “counterfeiting, money-laundering or narcotics” was dropped.

So was a call to prevent “any abuses of the international financial system” that could contribute to the transfer or development of banned weapons.

A previous U.S. draft called on all states to inspect cargo to and from North Korea to ensure compliance with sanctions. The new draft would allow states to inspect cargo “as necessary.”

Also dropped were Japanese demands to prohibit North Korean ships from entering any port, and North Korean aircraft from taking off or landing in any country. These sanctions would likely face strong Russian and Chinese opposition.

Watching intently from the sidelines: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The obvious response is to take on their enemies as client states of our own. But for various reasons, there’s no good option at the moment. In China’s case, Japan’s already a client state but they’re not ready to drop their nuclear taboo. We can’t put a gun in their hand if they won’t take it. As for Russia, we could do quite a bit of damage by sending arms and money to the Chechens. But as we’ve learned, today’s mujahid “freedom fighter” is tomorrow’s suicide pilot.

So there’ll be no Chechen alliance.

Meanwhile, earlier this afternoon:

As reports circulated of a second imminent nuclear test, a high-ranking North Korean official who is called the unofficial spokesman for Kim Jong-il issued a not-so-veiled threat to the United States today in an interview with South Korean radio.

“Everything will be settled in a week,” said Kim Myong-chol on KBS Radio. “That is, whether we, Korean people, will remain as we are now, or lose, or New York will lose, or Washington, D.C., will lose, it will all be settled once and for all.”

Probably a bluff. Anyway, it’s not New York or D.C. that’s the immediate worry.

The Herald has an excellent 30-second primer for those unclear on why there’s no military option. The Blotter has an interesting item too on NK’s envoys to the UN and their New York lifestyles. They live on Roosevelt Island, travel in pairs, and have been spotted fishing from the East River(!). Beats living in Pyongyang and eating grass, I guess.

Tags: China New York