North Korea’s closest ally, China, joined the United States in proposing even tougher economic sanctions on North Korea. Some of the sanctions, approved unanimously by the U.N. Security Council, will crack down on North Korea’s international financial transactions. Others are aimed at the poverty-stricken country’s elite by preventing them from obtaining luxury items, such as yachts, jewelry and expensive autos. If North Korean leaders hadn’t already known they are without friends as they push their nuclear weapons and missile programs, China is sending that needed message loud and clear.
As the sequester hit in Washington, Secretary of State John Kerry airlifted advice to Egypt. He went to Cairo to tell rival political factions they must work together and compromise for the good of their country. “We do believe that in this moment of economic challenge it is important for the Egyptian people to come together around the economic choices and to find some common ground in making those choices,” the former Massachusetts senator advised. Given the lack of compromise at home right now, that sounds more like “do as I say, not as I do.”