Saturday, July 15, 2006

N Korean UN Ambassador Accuses US of 'Threats and Blackmail'

In response to the UN Security Council's passage of a resolution condemning North Korea's recent missile launches/test, the North Korean ambassador accused the US of 'threats and blackmail' and refused to accept the resolution.

In the final negotiations, the council was divided on one issue: if the resolution should be adopted under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter, which allows for the use of military force to make sure the resolution is obeyed.

China had threatened to veto any resolution that mentioned Chapter 7, and in the final compromise it was dropped. The resolution adopted Saturday by a 15-0 vote states that the Security Council was "acting under its special responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security."

Update: In a CNN interview, when US ambassador John Bolton was asked what thought about the fact that this was a unanimous decision despite prior disagreements, he replied that China had simply felt the pressure of the other members of the Security Council. He did not mention the issue of the use of military force, noted in the above article. Bolton also said he expects further action that would most likely involve sanctions now that North Korea had rejected the resolution.

Bolton also decried the North Korean ambassador for responding just 45 minutes after the resolution had been passed, regardless of the fact that North Korea had made its stance quite clear last week:

“The US, at the same time, has totally hamstrung the efforts for the implementation of the joint statement through threats and blackmail such as the large-scale military exercises held in South Korea and targeted against the DPRK.”

While the US has claimed the missile test will destabilise the region, the DPRK argues the contrary:“It is a lesson taught by history and a stark reality of international relations proven by the Iraqi crisis that upsetting the balance of power is bound to create instability and crisis and even spark a war.

“But for the DPRK’s tremendous deterrent for self-defence, the US would have attacked the DPRK more than once, as it has listed the DPRK as part of an ‘axis of evil’ and a ‘target of pre-emptive nuclear attack’, and peace on the Korean Peninsula and in the region would have been seriously disturbed”, said a DPRK statement on the so-called missile crisis.

That statement is more than likely exactly what the North Korean ambassador read from when he spoke to the UN today.

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