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

    Saudi Arabia’s New Female Politicians in the Other Room 

    Many in Saudi Arabia say elected representatives should share unsegregated spaces; according to a recent survey, more than half the Saudi population, both men and women, prefer to work in a segregated place

    Russia Not ‘Apologetic’ for Syria Airstrikes

    With Moscow criticized for targeting armed opponents of President Assad, Russia’s UN envoy says his country ‘acting in a very transparent manner’

    Pakistan Warns of Islamic State's Growing Reach

    Aftab Sultan, General Director General of Intelligence Bureau (IB), briefed Senate Committee in closed hearing, saying that IS-linked groups have been expanding in Pakistan

    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.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.