BY JOHN BOLTON
Panama’s interdiction last week of a North Korean freighter bearing cargo from Cuba should open President Obama’s eyes. The seizure’s chilling implication is that significant trading exists among proliferators (and their powerful friends), despite mountains of sanctions resolutions, vaunted intelligence capabilities, and Western leaders who think dictators can be talked out of long-sought military capabilities. Unfortunately, Mr. Obama is botching a real opportunity by mistakenly deferring to the United Nations.
Much remains unknown about the shipment aboard the Chong Chon Gang, or what it carried inbound to Cuba. The Havana-Pyongyang story that the vessel was transporting obsolete weapons and equipment certainly warrants considerable skepticism. But even if its cargo was just that and nothing more, the mere fact of this newly revealed rogue-state trade route is bad news. “Axis of evil” was never just a metaphor, and membership is always open.