Posted April. 19, 2005 23:08,
Asked whether the U.S. has considered sending the North Korean nuclear issue to the U.N. Security Council if North Korea refuses to return to six-party talks, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said during a regular briefing on April 18, Taking the issue to the U.N. Security Council can be considered as a next step.
Even though the U.S. press quoted officials saying it is possible to refer the matter to the U.N. Security Council, this is the first time for the White House to comment officially on the issue.
Referring the North Korean nuclear issue to the U.N. Security Council would mean that the U.S. will abandon the framework of six-party talks that has existed since 2003. Also, it will be able to discuss measures to impose sanctions against North Korea, including resorting to legal armed force through the U.N. resolution.
Of course, two premises lie in the answer given by the spokesman. They run as follows:
First, the U.S. supports the six-party talks. Second, if North Korea ultimately refuses to come back to the negotiating table, the U.S. will consider a possibility of presenting the issue to the U.N. Security Council through consulting with concerned countries.
However, a diplomatic source in Washington D.C. commented, Scott McClellans remarks are likely to go further, given his usual reply that the U.S. desires North Koreas early return to the six-party talks, explaining that his remarks reflects a situation, in which the hard liners voices have been strong within the George W. Bush administration.
The Associated Press analyzed, Scott McClellans remarks has reflected Bushs administrations concern over a case that it has recently confirmed in which North Korea stopped operating nuclear reactors in Youngbyeon, Pyeongbuk Province as well.
Karl Rove, widely known as the brain of President Bush and the senior political adviser to Bush and concurrent deputy chief of staff, said in an interview with CNN on April 18, If North Korea sticks to its own stance, the international community will be able to take another measure in order to change the dictatorships position, implying a possibility of referring the matter to the U.N. Security Council.
The New York Times reported on April 18, There are controversies in the White House over whether or not diplomatic approaches to the North Korean nuclear issue for the past two years have failed. Diplomatic sources analyzed that even though the Bush administration has seemingly responded insignificantly to North Koreas announcement on February 10 that it has nuclear bombs or that it has stopped operation of nuclear reactors in Youngbyeon, it can be different within the administration.
However, on the same day, a source who has closely observed the situation in the Bush administration, said, The Bush administration will not abruptly take a hard line, forecasting that the stalemate of the six-party talks will be protracted.