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UN Security Council adopts compromise resolution putting sanctions on North Korea

[JURIST] The UN Security Council voted unanimously Saturday to adopt a compromise resolution on recent missile tests [JURIST news archive] by North Korea (DPRK) [JURIST news archive] directing it to stop the launches and calling on member states to impose weapons-related sanctions, but did not invoke Chapter 7 [text] of the UN Charter as proposed by Japan in an earlier draft [JURIST report], which would have made its action binding and left open the possibility of military enforcement. China had previously said it would veto any resolution passed under Chapter 7 [JURIST report], but accepted language [Resolution 1695 text] saying that the Council was "acting under its special responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security." US UN Ambassador John Bolton said that if North Korea did not comply with the resolution the matter could come back to the Council for further action.

North Korean UN representative Pak Gil Yon immediately rejected the resolution on behalf of his government, saying that "that the Security Council was not justified in taking up his country’s missile launch exercise, both in view of the competence of the Council and of international law", according to a UN summary of the Council session. He further insisted:

The exercise was a legitimate right of a sovereign State and was neither bound to any international law, nor to bilateral or multilateral agreements, such as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea–Japan Pyongyang Declaration and the joint statement of the six-party talks. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was not a signatory to the missile technology control regime and, therefore, not bound to any commitment under it.

As for the moratorium on long-range missile test flights that his country had agreed to with the United States in 1999, it had been valid only when the United States-Democratic People’s Republic of Korea dialogue was under way, he said. The Bush Administration had scrapped all the agreements signed by previous administrations. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had clarified that its moratorium had lost its validity in 2005. The same could be said regarding the moratorium that his country had agreed to with Japan in 2002. In the Pyongyang Declaration, his Government had expressed its intention to extend beyond 2003 the moratorium on missile firing, in the spirit of the Declaration, on the premise that Japan would normalize its relations with his country and redeem its past. The Japanese authorities, however, had abused his country’s good faith and pursued a hostile policy. That had brought the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea-Japanese relations to what they had been before the Declaration.
Reuters has more.

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