N. Korea rejects UN sanctions as war ghosts are conjured

003bnorth korea rejects sanctions N. Korea rejects UN sanctions as war ghosts are conjured

The resolution passed by the UNSecurity Council on Friday is the fifth of its kind since 2006,when the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) conducted itsfirst nuclear test. Adopted in response to the third detonation ofa nuclear device by North Korea, it aims to tighten financialrestrictions and cargo inspections against Pyongyang.Responding to the move, the North said in a statement by aForeign Ministry spokesman: “The DPRK, as it did in the past,vehemently denounces and totally rejects the ‘resolution onsanctions’ against the DPRK, a product of the US hostile policytoward it.””The world will clearly see what permanent position the DPRKwill reinforce as a nuclear weapons state and satellite launcher asa result of the US attitude of prodding the UNSC into cooking upthe ‘resolution’,” Pyongyang said.The adoption of the new round of sanctions and particularlyenlisting the support of China, North Korea’s sole ally, was hailedas a big step forward by some diplomats. UN Ambassador to theUnited Nations Susan Rice, who led the drafting of the document andnegotiated with Beijing on the matter, said that “thesesanctions will bite and bite hard.”The sanctions are not unlike those imposed by the US and itsallies against Iran in early 2012, which some Western officials saywere successful. They crippled Tehran’s oil exports and hurt itseconomy, which suffered from rampaging inflation. But there is somedoubt that the restrictions would be effective with North Korea,which has a much more closed economy stemming from its stateideology of self-reliance.In addition, China’s support of the sanctions on the top levelmay become mitigated on the level of implementation. For example,while the resolution makes inspections of cargo going to NorthKorea mandatory, it is up to the inspecting country to judgewhether it is related to missile or nuclear development and issubject for detention.“Really, the sanctions themselves aren’t going to make a hugedifference in this conflict, and I think going along with it,whoever knows what gets decided and traded off at the back door ofpolitics,” told RT Eric Sirotkin, co-founder of the NationalCampaign to End the Korean War.A day after the UNSC resolution was adopted Beijing indicatedthat sanctions are not the key to easing the tension in the KoreanPeninsula.”We always believe that sanctions are not the end of SecurityCouncil actions, nor are sanctions the fundamental way to resolvethe relevant issues,” China’s Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi saidSaturday at a media conference.He added, “The only right way to resolve the issue is to takea holistic approach and resolve the concerns of all partiesinvolved in a comprehensive and balanced manner through dialogueand consultations.”China is far from welcoming a nuclear North Korea at itsborders, but it has limited leverage on Pyongyang and cannot makeit disarm through diplomatic means. However, cutting trade linksand aid may result in the collapse of the regime, which would provegreater problems for China. Those may range from thousands of economic refugees rushing intoChina and stockpiles of arms looted from the North’s militarydepots spreading across the region all the way up to a new war.Many experts say such considerations will make Beijing reluctant inmounting pressure on its troublemaker neighbor.The sanctions come amid heightened tension between North Koreaand its opponents. The US and South Korea are conducting massiveannual military games not far from North’s border, much toPyongyang’s annoyance. The DPRK’s military command said it suspectsthe drills to be a cover for preparation of a real attack andthreatened to response in full force, warning that North Korea willnot share the fate of Balkans, Iraq or Libya.North Korea also announced Friday that it is withdrawing fromthe armistice agreement which ended the war in 1953. It is thesixth time since 1994 that Pyongyang has done so, each of theepisodes linked to some violent conflict or escalation of tensionsbetween the two Koreas. Seoul never signed the document.Friday’ pull-out from the non-aggression pact is accompaniedwith the severing of a hotline between Pyongyang and Seoul. Thismay have dangerous and absolutely unintended ramifications.“Even though none of the countries, none of the parties wanta full-scale war, any small incident in the Korean Peninsula couldlead to both sides stepping on the escalation ladder. That’s howwars start, even when there’s no intention for war,” anti-waractivist Brian Becker told RT.“The need now is to reduce tensions, and the onus for that isnot on North Korea, which is not threatening the US. It’s the USthat should stop carrying out war games simulating the invasion andbombing of North Korea and lift sanctions,” he said.


N. Korea rejects UN sanctions as war ghosts are conjured

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