The Militant (logo)  
   Vol. 70/No. 28           July 31, 2006  
Security Council imposes
sanctions on north Korea
(front page)
The United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution July 15 condemning north Korea for testing several ballistic missiles 10 days earlier, and imposed sanctions on its government.

The resolution, promoted by Washington and its imperialist allies, especially Tokyo, intensifies threats against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). It requires all UN member states to stop the import and export of materials or any funding that can be linked to north Korea’s missile defense program.

China had said it would veto the measure if it included authorization to threaten military force under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter. After 10 days of wrangling over the wording, sponsors of the resolution dropped this particular reference and China’s representative joined in the final approval.

The resolution demands that Pyongyang “suspend all activities related to its ballistic missile program” and restore “a moratorium on missile launching.” It requires UN member states to “prevent the procurement of missile or missile-related items, materials, goods, or technology being transferred to DPRK’s missile or WMD [weapons of mass destruction] program.” It also calls for preventing “the transfer of any financial resources” related to these programs.

The following day at its meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia, the Group of Eight (G8)—the world’s major imperialist powers in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, and Japan, together with Russia—embraced the UN Security Council resolution. In its “Statement on Non-Proliferation” the G8 heads of state asserted that Pyongyang’s launching of ballistic missiles “jeopardises peace, stability and security in the region and beyond.”

Shortly after passage of the Security Council resolution, north Korea’s UN ambassador, Pak Gil Yon, said in a statement that the DPRK “totally rejects” the resolution. “The DPRK’s exercise of its legitimate right as a sovereign state is neither bound to any international law nor to bilateral or multilateral agreements,” he said. “As for the moratorium on long-range missile test-fire, which the DPRK agreed to with the U.S. in 1999, it was valid only when the DPRK-U.S. dialogue was under way.”

Pak Gil Yon said the DPRK has good reason to develop missiles for self-defense because Washington has classified north Korea “as part of an ‘axis of evil’ and a ‘target of preemptive nuclear attack.’” In recent years, he said, Washington and Tokyo have imposed economic sanctions and pursued other punitive measures against Pyongyang despite agreements reached at the six-party talks involving Beijing, Moscow, Washington, Tokyo, and Seoul. Far from being a “provocation” and a destabilizing factor in the area, missile development by the DPRK serves “as a key to keeping the balance of force and preserving peace and stability in Northeast Asia,” he said.

It would also have been “quite foolish to notify Washington and Tokyo of the missile launches in advance, given that the U.S., which is technically at war with the DPRK, has threatened…that it would intercept the latter’s missile in collusion with Japan.

“We would like to ask the U.S. and Japan if they had ever notified the DPRK of their ceaseless missile launches in the areas close to it,” said Pak.

“If there are no more exercises designed to disturb the peace in the region, there could be no missile launches,” DPRK deputy foreign minister Kim Hyong Jun told the media July 11. He was referring to the month-long military exercises Washington is conducting in the area through the end of July. This is in addition to the 30,000 U.S. troops currently stationed in south Korea. “As a sovereign state, we have to defend and safeguard our independent rights,” Kim said.

In response to north Korea’s rejection of the resolution, U.S. ambassador to the UN John Bolton told the press that “The United States and other Member States have the opportunity at any point to return to the Council for further action.”  
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