News / Asia

S. Korea Asks UN for Right to Inspect N. Korean Ships

A South Korean man watches a TV news showing a file footage of North Korea's nuclear test at the Seoul train station in Seoul, South Korea, Feb. 12, 2013.
A South Korean man watches a TV news showing a file footage of North Korea's nuclear test at the Seoul train station in Seoul, South Korea, Feb. 12, 2013.
Mike Richman

A top South Korean diplomat said Seoul is seeking a United Nations resolution that would permit military action against North Korea, following Pyongyang's latest nuclear test.
 

South Korea's Yonhap news agency quotes the diplomat, who requested anonymity, as saying his country hopes to persuade the U.N. Security Council to adopt a resolution that includes Chapter 7, Article 42 of the U.N. charter.

If a resolution is passed that includes that provision, it could allow military ships anywhere in the world to intercept and board North Korean vessels suspected of carrying weapons or nuclear or missile components prohibited under U.N. sanctions.

The diplomat said, however, he is uncertain if China would endorse a resolution allowing for military action against North Korea.

China, the North's top ally and a veto-wielding member of the U.N. Security Council, has long opposed using Chapter Seven, Article 42 against Pyongyang, although Beijing backed a U.N. resolution after North Korea's long-range rocket launch in December.

That resolution expands asset freezes and travel bans on some North Korean entities.

Resolution Would Send "Strong Signal"

One analyst said a resolution including Chapter 7, Article 42 would send a "strong signal" to North Korea that the world is becoming impatient with the North's nuclear program and "disregard for past resolutions." James Schoff of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington also said China would likely be reluctant to support such a measure.

"I think Beijing would see that as very dangerous, would probably provoke North Korea to conducting some further kind of provocation, and they’ve called on all sides to respond calmly," Schoff said.

Schoff also said China would be worried that passing the resolution, not necessarily implementing it, may be enough to "set North Korea off."

China condemned the North's nuclear test on Tuesday and urged Pyongyang to abide by its non-nuclear commitments. Beijing said the issue should be resolved within the long-stalled, six-nation nuclear disarmament talks.

Bruce Klingner, an analyst at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, said China has been "part of the problem, rather than part of the solution," when North Korean sanctions are at issue.

China also has been "obstructionist in the U.N. Security Council, not only being against the Chapter 7 clause but also meaningful resolutions," Klingner said. "For example, last April when the U.S. and South Korea proposed 40 new North Korean entities be added to the sanctions list, China refused all but three. So unfortunately, it's part of the trend by China. We can hope that the new Chinese leadership is more pragmatic in trying to implement more effective and comprehensive sanctions."
 

An Attack on North Korea

Klingner said some opponents of a resolution including Article 42, Chapter 7, or those unaware of its intent, will see it as the United States seeking justification for attacking North Korea.

"That’s not the case," he said. "The intent is to close a loophole in the U.N. resolutions."

In the past, U.S. Navy ships have only trailed or shadowed North Korean vessels suspected of carrying nuclear missile components or technology.

North Korea's nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009 triggered tough economic and diplomatic sanctions.

The North says it needs nuclear weapons because of what it calls a hostile U.S. policy. It says that promised benefits for ending its nuclear program, such as fuel and economic aid from Western nations, have never materialized. The impoverished country relies heavily on foreign food aid to feed its people.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Davis K. Thanjan from: New York
February 15, 2013 7:15 PM
The inaction of the UN and the UN Security Council allowed North Korea to develop nuclear bombs and delivery systems. It is high time North Korea is punished for blatent violations of the warnings from the UN and other concerned nations. The North Korean request to inspect the North Korean ships to prevent nuclear proliferation is a small step in the right direction. But just the inspection of the North Korean ships will not remove the nuclear threat of North Korea unless North Korea is forced to deactivate their nuclear bombs or North Korea and Japan develop their own nuclear deterant.


by: dan from: Vancouver
February 15, 2013 4:57 PM
Full on interdiction. N. Korea doesn't need rockets or a compact bomb to deliver the kilotons.

Hawaii is in enough of an earthquake zone already.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid