North Korea Tells US via UN to ‘Drop the Bad Habit’ of Arguing With Others

A model of the "Unha-9" missile on display at a floral exhibition in Pyongyang, July 2013 (credit: wikimedia)

A model of the “Unha-9” missile on display at a floral exhibition in Pyongyang, July 2013 (credit: wikimedia)

March 12, 2014 – North Korea has sent a letter to Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council to complain about the United States reaction to its recent missile tests.

The letter, transmitted  from Pyongyang’s UN ambassador, Ja Song Nam, said the missile tests from Feb. 21 to March 4 “were smoothly conducted with no slight impact not only on regional peace and security but on the international navigation order and ecological environment.”

The tests, which took place at the same time as joint US-South Korea military exercises, drew a complaint from the United States, who have asked the Security Council to “take appropriate action” as the launches “clearly used ballistic missile technology” which Pyongyang is banned from using under Security Council resolutions.

The United States and its followers should not dare make much fuss, terming the just rocket-launching drills of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea ‘provocation’ and ‘ ‘threats,'” the letter says.

It adds that the only provocations were the joint US-South Korea military drills “and base remarks made by such a guy as United States Secretary of State Kerry, who labelled the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea ‘closest closed country,’ ‘evil place’ and ‘country of evil.'”

The letter says its is “absurd” that the US says North-South relations can only be mended when Pyongyang dismantles its nuclear weapons program.

North Korea’s nuclear weapons program “is the self-defensive treasured sword to defend the whole Korean nation and preserve the regional peace and security from the increasing nuclear threats and blackmail of the United States,” the letter says.

“The United States had better coolly judge the situation and drop the bad habit 
of deliberately taking issue with others,” the letter concludes.

Full text of the letter is below.

– Denis Fitzgerald
On Twitter @denisfitz

North Korea Letter to UN published by UN Tribune

China Likely to Block UNSC Referral of North Korea to ICC

Feb. 17, 2014 –  North Korea’s totalitarian regime should be referred to the International Criminal Court, according to UN investigators who have compiled a detailed report outlining systematic and widespread human rights abuses that the investigators say amount to crimes against humanity.

But any move by the 15-nation council to refer the situation to the Hague-based court is likely to be scuppered by veto-wielding China. Beijing is named in the report for forcibly repatriating fleeing North Koreans. Those repatriated are then tortured and often disappeared, the report says.

The Security Council has only twice ever referred situations to the ICC, voting 11-0 in 2005 to refer the situation in Darfur to the court – with China, US, Algeria and Brazil abstaining – and in 2011 voting unanimously to refer the situation in Libya.

Neither situation has resulted yet in justice served with Sudan’s president Omar Al-Bashir, though subject to an international arrest warrant, still in office and still traveling outside his country’s borders. The case against Muammar Gaddafi was dropped following his death while Libyan authorities have refused to handover his son Saif to the the ICC. The court ruled last year that intelligence chief Abdullah Al-Senussi could be tried in Libya, under the principle of complementarity.

With Security Council referral not likely, the General Assembly could pass a resolution establishing an ad hoc tribunal administered by consenting countries but UNGA resolutions are non-binding so any ad hoc tribunal set up by the 193-nation body would lack compulsory jurisdiction.

A copy of the 372 page report by the UN Commission of Inquiry on North Korea is here.

– Denis Fitzgerald
On Twitter @denisfitz

South Korea Take Reins Of Security Council For February As North Korea Threatens Action

Feb. 1, 2013 – South Korea assumes presidency of the Security Council for February as the threat of another nuclear test by North Korea looms.

A confluence of events make February a ripe month for Pyongyang to consider conducting its third nuclear test. That Seoul is presiding over the body that has already passed two rounds of international sanctions against it is reason enough but there are two other events this month that North Korea may well mark with an expression of its defiance of the international community.

Late leader Kim Jong Il’s birthday falls on Feb 16 and the inauguration of South Korea’s president-elect Park Geun-hye takes place Feb 25. In a Jan 25 letter to the Security Council, North Korea gave note of its intention to “bolster the military capabilities for self-defence, including the nuclear deterrence, both qualitatively and quantitatively, to cope with the ever more undisguised moves of the United States.” 

Pyongyang has in the past shown a preference to act on holidays. It conducted its first nuclear test on Oct 9, 2006, timed to mar Columbus Day celebrations in the U.S., a second nuclear test on Memorial Day 2009, and a missile test – contravening Council resolution 1874 – on July 4, 2009.

The Council expanded sanctions against North Korea last month over its failed Dec 2012 missile launch. Pyongyang condemned the move and in the Jan 25 letter stated that, “The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea will continuously launch satellites for peaceful purposes to conquer space and become a world-level power.” 

– Denis Fitzgerald

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UN flag flies at half-mast at New York HQ on day of Kim Jong il’s funeral, Dec. 28, 2011 The 1947 UN flag code dictates that the flag flies at half-mast the day after the death of a head of state of a UN member state or on the day of the official funeral (and that […]