SEOUL — For those old enough to remember the climactic U.N. Security Council face-off in 1962, during which the United States confronted the Soviet Union with incontrovertible evidence of Soviet missiles in Cuba, there’s a lesson here. When America’s U.N. ambassador, Adlai Stevenson, accused his Soviet counterpart, Vladimir Zorin, of deception and was prepared to wait “until hell freezes over” for his answer, Zorin snapped back, “I’m not in an American courtroom.”

The dock is precisely where the U.S. has now put France, seeking comeuppance against Paris for its diplomatic opposition at the United Nations in the lead up to the Iraq war. The U.S. won the war, but it hasn’t forgotten the diplomatic defeat it suffered before the war.

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