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Security Council imposes sanctions on North Korea

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published July 16, 2006


UNITED NATIONS - The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Saturday to impose limited sanctions on North Korea for its recent missile tests, and demanded that the reclusive communist nation suspend its ballistic missile program. North Korea immediately rejected the resolution and vowed to continue missile launches.

U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said North Korea set a world record for a rejection - 45 minutes - and warned that Pyongyang's failure to comply could lead to further council action. He did not say what that might be.

The resolution bans all U.N. member states from selling material or technology for missiles or weapons of mass destruction to North Korea, and from receiving missiles, banned weapons or technology from Pyongyang.

It condemns North Korea's multiple missile launches on July 5 and demands that North Korea "suspend all activities related to its ballistic missile program" and re-establish a moratorium on missile launches. It strongly urges North Korea to return to six-party talks on its nuclear program, stalled since September.

North Korea's U.N. Ambassador Pak Gil Yon, who was in the Security Council chamber for the vote in a rare appearance, accused the council of trying to isolate his country, known officially as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, or DPRK.

"The delegation of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea resolutely condemns the attempt of some countries to misuse the Security Council for the despicable political aim to isolate and put pressure on the DPRK, and totally rejects the resolution," he said.

The Korean People's Army "will go on with missile launch exercises as part of its efforts to bolster deterrent for self-defense in the future, too," he said.

He immediately left the council chamber at the end of his speech, a breach of diplomatic protocol.

The resolution culminated 10 days of difficult negotiations and came after a last-minute compromise between Japan, the United States and Britain, who wanted a tough statement, and Russia and China, who favored weaker language.

The council was divided on one issue during the final negotiations: whether the resolution should be adopted under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter, which allows for military force to make sure the resolution is obeyed.

China had threatened to veto any resolution that mentioned Chapter 7 and that mention was dropped in the final compromise.

The resolution adopted Saturday by a 15-0 vote states that the Security Council was "acting under its special responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security."

The United States, Britain, France and Japan insist that even without Chapter 7, the resolution is mandatory and all countries are required to comply - including North Korea.

Japan, which views itself as a potential target of North Korean missiles, sponsored the initial resolution, which in the end was put to a vote as a presidential text, with the support of all council members.

"The council has acted swiftly and robustly in response to the reckless and condemnable act of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea," Japan's Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Chintaro Ito told the council.

Bolton said the Security Council "sends an unequivocal, unambiguous and unanimous message to Pyongyang: Suspend your ballistic missile program, stop your procurement of materials related to weapons of mass destruction, and implement your September, 2005, commitment to verifiably dismantle your nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs."

[Last modified July 16, 2006, 02:18:43]


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