Today’s Los Angeles Times posted a story about a North Korean ship passing through the Panama Canal on route home from Cuba found to be carrying missile equipment. Panama President Ricardo Martinelli has released details of the discovery to the Panamanian media. He has also posted pictures on his Twitter account.
The article reports:
If the shipment proves to be missiles or other arms, it would likely constitute a violation of United Nations sanctions against North Korea that prohibit the importation of conventional weapons and items that could be used to develop nuclear weapons and missiles.
The sanctions against the hermit-like communist country have been in place since 2006, and were strengthened by the U.N. Security Council in March after the North Koreans announced a nuclear test in Febraury.
The Spanish news agency EFE reported that a Korean military delegation headed by general Kim Kyok Sik had visited with top Cuban military officials in Havana in late June. The North Korean general said at the time that the two friendly countries shared “the same foxhole.”
This episode shows that the United Nations sanctions against North Korea are not really working. In both Cuba and North Korea, the average citizen lives in conditions those of us who live in free countries can’t even imagine. Letting their governments continue to increase their weaponry does no one any good–either the citizens of their countries or the rest of the world.
Investors.com posted an editorial yesterday about the China currency bill the Senate is planning to introduce this week. The National Retail Federation (NRF) has stated their opinion that passage of the bill will cost American jobs–not create them.
Today’s Wall Street Journal (not linked–subscribers only) posted an editorial titled, “The Obama-Romney Tariff.” The article at the Wall Street Journal describes the bill as “the most dangerous trade legislation in many years.”
The article at the Wall Street Journal reports:
The legislation is now coming to the floor because Senate Democrats want protectionist political cover against unions in return for voting on the free-trade pacts with Columbia, Panama and Korea that President Obama finally sent to Congress yesterday. But what is cynical posturing in Washington may look more threatening to the rest of the world, and once trade wars start they can be hard to stop.
We do not trade with China on an even level–they use slave labor and they manipulate their currency to give themselves an advantage. The Chinese are not fair trading partners. I understand that, and I would like to see that change. However, this may not be the time to attempt that change. We need to clean up the internal downward forces on the American economy so that we approach this problem from a position of strength rather than a position of weakness. The answers to America’s economic problems are internal–they are not external. This currency bill is not Smoot-Hawley, but unfortunately, it may have a similar result.