UN Security Council holds emergency meeting on DPRK blast

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UN Security Council holds emergency meeting on DPRK blast

The U.N. Security Council held its second emergency meeting in a week about the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Monday after a powerful nuclear test explosion added another layer of urgency for diplomats wrestling with what to do about the DPRK’s persistent weapons programs.

China’s U.N. Ambassador Liu Jieyi urged DPRK to “stop taking actions that are wrong” and called on all parties to “seriously consider” Beijing’s proposal for a joint suspension of Pyongyang’s ballistic missile and nuclear programs and military drills by the United States and South Korea.

“We strongly urge (DPRK) … stop taking actions that are wrong, deteriorating the situation and not in line with its own interests either and truly return to the track of resolving the issue through dialogue,” Liu told the U.N. Security Council.

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said Washington will present a new sanctions resolution to the council to be negotiated in the coming days, with a view of voting on it next Monday.

“Only the strongest sanctions will enable us to resolve this problem through diplomacy,” Haley told an emergency council meeting.

Declaring that “enough is enough,” Haley said incremental sanctions imposed since 2006 had not worked and accused DPRK leader Kim Jong-Un of “begging for war.”

“War is never something the United States wants. We don’t want it now. But our country’s patience is not unlimited,” she declared.

“North Korea has basically slapped everyone in the face in the international community that has asked them to stop.”

Haley declared the “time for half measures is over,” but did not spell out what measures Washington would support.

Scheduled after the DPRK said it detonated a hydrogen bomb underground Sunday, the emergency session comes six days after the council strongly condemned Pyongyang’s “outrageous” launch of a ballistic missile over Japan. Less than a month ago, the council imposed its stiffest sanctions so far on the reclusive nation.

The DPRK is “deliberately undermining regional peace and stability,” the council said Tuesday when it rebuked the missile test, reiterating demands for the country to halt its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs.

The DPRK trumpeted “perfect success” Sunday in its sixth nuclear test blast since 2006.

Requested by the United States, Japan, France, Britain and South Korea, the Security Council meeting Monday could bring additional condemnation and discussion of other potential steps. British Prime Minister Theresa May called in a statement Sunday for speeding the implementation of existing sanctions and “looking urgently” at new measures in the council.

“We cannot waste any more time. And in order to do that, we need North Korea to feel the pressure, but if they go down this road there will be consequences.” Japanese Ambassador Koro Bessho told reporters ahead of the council meeting.

French Ambassador Francois Delattre said France was calling for the adoption of new U.N. sanctions, swift implementation of existing ones and new separate sanctions by the European Union.

The council aimed to take a big bite out of the DPRK economy earlier this month by banning DPRK from exporting coal, iron, lead and seafood products. Together, those are worth about a third of the country’s $3 billion in exports last year.

The council could look to sanction other profitable DPRK exports, such as textiles. Another possibility could be tighter limits on DPRK laborers abroad; the recent sanctions barred giving any new permits for such workers. The U.S. also suggested some other ideas earlier this summer, including air and maritime restrictions and restricting oil to the DPRK’s military and weapons programs.

Washington says there is no comparison between its openly conducted, internationally monitored military drills and the DPRK’s weapons programs, which the international community has banned.


Story compiled with information from The Associated Press, Reuters and CGTN.