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UN Security Council Quick to Condemn NK Nuke Test

Posted May. 27, 2009 09:02,   


The U.N. Security Council yesterday issued a statement after an emergency meeting condemning North Korea’s nuclear test.

“The members of the Security Council voiced their strong opposition to and condemnation of the nuclear test conducted by the Democratic People`s Republic of Korea on May 25, 2009, which constitutes a clear violation of Resolution 1718,” the council said.

“Council members have decided to start working immediately on a Security Council resolution on this matter."

Experts say the statement’s adoption less than 20 hours after the test reflects how serious the international community is about the matter.

▽ Security Council to pass resolution

Russian ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said, “The North Korean nuclear test not only violates U.N. resolutions but also the (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) and the (Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty). This is very serious and needs to have a strong response to it.” Russia is the chair of the council this month.

U.S. ambassador to the world body Susan Rice said, “The United States will seek a strong resolution with strong measures.” Indicating that China and Russia agreed, she added, “What we discussed today was a swift and clear message.”

Swift adoption of a resolution is expected because unlike the rocket launch last month, the nuclear test on Monday was a clear violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1718 that was adopted immediately after the North’s first nuclear test in October 2006.

Last month’s rocket launch sparked dispute over whether it was a ballistic missile or a satellite for peaceful purposes as Pyongyang claimed, but no international law governs the nuclear test.

A diplomatic source said, “The remaining controversy is how powerful sanctions on North Korea should be.”

U.N. officials predict that the new resolution will add sanctions to Resolution 1718 but military action is unlikely.

▽ Japan stresses resolution adoption

Japan is focusing on diplomatic efforts to adopt the resolution to allow the international community to impose sanctions on North Korea. Unless China and Russia snub the effort, however, it will be difficult to pass the resolution or make it effective.

Some suggest independent action on the North but since this would probably not be effective, Tokyo is considering this after the adoption of a resolution.

Japan`s Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura said, “Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso talked to U.S. President Barack Obama yesterday over the phone, and they agreed to deliver a clear message by adopting a powerful U.N. Security Council Resolution, and to work with China and Russia.”

Japanese Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone told a news conference after a Cabinet meeting yesterday, “Since North Korea’s nuclear test is a serious threat that undermines peace and stability in the region, we will be committed to adopting a resolution by taking the lead.”

“We will seek a response by consulting with related countries.”

▽ Stronger U.S. response

Though President Obama emphasized the importance of talks, he was apparently angry over the nuclear test. He released a statement criticizing the North Monday morning and said in his Memorial Day address at Arlington National Cemetery later, “The danger posed by North Korea`s threatening activities warrants action by the international community."

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stressed “a strong united response.”

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