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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid