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Gov`t to Seek Weaker Resolution for Cheonan Sinking

Posted June. 03, 2010 14:04,   


South Korea will seek from the U.N. Security Council a general resolution denouncing North Korea’s sinking of the Cheonan instead of a sanctions resolution.

The general resolution is weaker than a sanctions resolution, which has the strongest effect, but stronger than a presidential statement.

South Korean Vice Foreign Minister Chun Yung-woo, who is visiting the U.S. for talks on cooperation to refer the provocation to the Security Council, discussed the sinking with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg and Undersecretary for Political Affairs William Burns.

After the meeting, Chun told reporters, “We haven’t yet reached an agreement on countermeasure details of the U.N. Security Council. Fundamentally, the council’s countermeasures will become a political, symbolic and ethical message. South Korea and the U.S. agreed that the council should send a message that cannot be ignored by North Korea. The countermeasures should also play a role in discouraging military adventurism by the North.”

“We haven’t yet discussed additional sanctions by the U.N. Security Council. We could either strengthen existing sanctions or introduce more. But we can deal with the issue alone and also cooperate with our allies to handle the issue even without the council’s help. We can also impose sanctions on the North without a resolution from the council.”

Chun seemed to imply that Seoul and Washington will seek a general resolution denouncing the sinking and urge Pyongyang to apologize and pledge not to commit a similar incident, rather than introduce a resolution on imposing additional sanctions on the North.

North Korea is already subject to U.N. Security Council Resolution 1874, which allows inspection of all cargo to and from the North along with vessels containing suspicious cargo. Thus additional sanctions are not expected to bring significant change.

China and Russia are also unlikely to support additional sanctions by the council. A resolution put to a vote is rejected if a permanent council member vetoes it.