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UNSC to hold urgent meeting on inter-Korean tension

Posted December. 20, 2010 11:04,   


The U.N. Security Council will hold an urgent meeting Monday in New York on the rising tension on the Korean Peninsula. The talks were proposed by Russia, which expressed worry over a South Korean artillery drill on Yeonpyeong Island.

A U.N. source said, “I understand that the council will hold discussions about the rising tension on the Korean Peninsula, as North Korea declared that it will counter with ‘second and third defensive strikes’ against the South Korean military’s plan to fire shells on the island in the Yellow Sea.”

“The meeting will not just discuss just the drill on Yeonpyeong but also overall issues on the rising tension on the Korean Peninsula, including the North’s shelling of Yeonpyeong and easing tension on the peninsula.”

Russia had earlier demanded the council to call a meeting Sunday afternoon, but the date was delayed after certain missions at the council said they needed consultations with their respective governments first.

Ahead of the meeting, South Korea, which is not a council member, exchanged opinions with the U.S., Britain, France and Japan and sought close collaboration through diverse channels. North Korea also reportedly contacted China, Russia and other countries prior to the meeting.

Western countries plan to argue that the North’s attack on Yeonpyeong and uranium enrichment are raising tension on the peninsula. In contrast, China will likely say the South Korean artillery drill is increasing tension as part of Beijing’s bid to protect Pyongyang.

What conclusion the council’s meeting will reach thus remains uncertain.

Vitaly Churkin, Russian ambassador to the U.N., told reporters at U.N. headquarters Sunday, “We are deeply concerned over the growing tension on the Korean Peninsula, which could potentially occur anew. This situation will directly affect Russia’s security interests.”

On discussions at the council, he said, “A message will need to be delivered to South and North Korea to urge them to refrain from aggressive acts.”

A source at the South Korean mission to the U.N. said, “The U.S. is expected to urge the Security Council to take a stern measure to condemn North Korea’s shelling attack on Yeonpyeong Island at the meeting Monday.”