A Stern Letter from the UN

An editorial from the Wall Street Journal makes an amusing point about the recent actions by North Korea and the UN’s response to them:

Yesterday’s U.N. statement lacks even the legally binding nature of a resolution. It is a promise by the 15 members of the Security Council to enforce sanctions they have already pledged to enforce but so far haven’t, in the name of getting the North to agree to abide by promises it has already made but hasn’t kept. This time, no doubt, everyone really, really means it.

Even President Obama’s press secretary can’t really put it any better. In the transcript of a press conference, Gibbs is quoted as being asked:

Q Won’t the North Koreans get the message that condemnations and requests for them to change actions are not exactly strong statements to make to a country that’s repeatedly defied, as you said, its obligations?

Mr. Gibbs’ answer certainly provides confidence:

MR. GIBBS: Well, I don’t — let me turn that question a little bit around, because I think there was some question about whether or not you could even get five members of a Security Council, or five of the permanent members of the Security Council to agree on a condemnation. Yesterday, 15 countries unanimously stood up and spoke out about the launch.