United Nations, Feb 16: South Korea's UN ambassador has asked the UN Security Council to adopt "extraordinary" measures in response to North Korea's recent nuclear test and rocket launch to avoid falling prey to its "nuclear blackmail."
Ambassador Oh Joon told a council meeting yesterday that members must approve "a robust and comprehensive" sanctions resolution to make clear to the North "that it will no longer tolerate its nuclear weapons development."
Pyongyang started off the new year with what it claims was its first hydrogen bomb test and followed that up with the launch of a satellite on a rocket condemned by much of the world as a test of banned missile technology.
The ambassador called the test and launch "a clear threat to international peace and security and a blatant challenge to the international community." Over the past 10 years, North Korea has conducted four nuclear tests and launched six long-range missiles all in violation of Security Council resolutions and Pyongyang's international obligations, Oh told a council meeting on respecting the principles of the UN Charter.
"If we go on business-as-usual vis-a-vis the DPRK's repeated nuclear tests and advancement of missile capabilities, the entire world could fall prey to the DPRK's nuclear blackmail," he said, using the initials of the country's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
"Extraordinary threat requires an extraordinary response," Oh said. The United States and China are negotiating the text of a new resolution and the council pledged after the February 7 rocket launch to "expeditiously" adopt a new resolution with "significant" new sanctions.
The US and its allies want sanctions that go beyond the North's nuclear and missile programs, but China, Pyongyang's neighbor and supporter on the council, is reluctant to impose measures that could cause the country's economy to collapse.