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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants 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.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs