NORTH REJECTS "BRIGANDISH" UN CALL TO HALT ITS MISSILE LAUNCHES
Sun Jul 16, 12:24 PM ET
SEOUL (AFP) - World powers
have urged North Korea to return to disarmament
talks after the UN Security Council unanimously condemned its missile tests, but the isolated communist state rejected the
"brigandish" resolution and vowed to bolster its defences.
"Our Republic will bolster
its war deterrent for self-defence in every way by all means and methods now that the situation has reached the worst phase
due to the extremely hostile act of the US," said the North's foreign ministry Sunday.
It insisted the United States had forced the United
Nations to adopt Saturday's resolution, which won the support of its only major ally China.
North Korea's neighbors urged it to take note of what they called a firm message over the July 5 launch of seven
missiles which sparked alarm in the region and beyond.
China said it hoped the resolution, which also imposes sanctions
on buying or selling parts of technology to help Pyongyang's
missile development, would lead to the resumption of six-party talks aimed at persuading the nation to abandon its nuclear
"We hope all relevant parties
could take this as a turning point, make common efforts and create conditions for the early resumption of the six-party talks,"
said foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the unanimous rebuke would force
the North, which claims to have nuclear weapons, back to the negotiations. They have been stalled since November by the North's
refusal to attend.
"It's a remarkable resolution,
and with an affirmative Chinese vote," she said on the sidelines of the Group of Eight summit in Saint Petersburg.
"That's why, I think ultimately,
North Korea will have no choice but to
return to the talks and pursue denuclearization of the Korean peninsula."
US President George W. Bush and Chinese President Hu Jintao met later Sunday in Saint Petersburg to try to map the way forward on North Korea after the
"Both sides expressed their
commitment to maintain peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia as a whole, and both sides agreed
to continue their efforts to move forward the six-party talks, so that at the end of the day, the entire Korean Peninsula
could be denuclearized in a peaceful way through dialogue and in negotiations," said Hu
South Korea called on its neighbour to respect the
"firm" resolution and order a moratorium on the tests. It said it was still trying to help restart the six-party talks.
Japan hailed "a binding, strong resolution which demands all member states of the United Nations to take punitive measures."
Tokyo, already angered by Pyongyang's
reluctance to come clean on its past kidnappings of Japanese nationals, had with the US and some European powers sought an even stronger resolution.
But amid Chinese and Russian
objections, it accepted a text which dropped a reference to the UN charter's Chapter Seven, which can authorize tough wide-ranging
sanctions or even military action.
At the UN, North Korea's ambassador Pak Gil Yon described the resolution
"We totally reject the resolution,"
he said immediately after the vote by the 15-member Security Council, adding that the North would continue missile launches
to bolster its military deterrent.
The North's foreign ministry,
in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency, called the UN move a "brigandish" act that raised tensions
on the Korean peninsula.
It said the North "will
have no option but to take stronger physical actions should someone take issue with our army's training of missile launches
for self-defence and put pressure on it."
Analysts said the unanimous
vote sends an unexpectedly strong message that will pressure the North but do little to stop its missile development.
Iran, reported to have bought North Korean missiles, and clandestine
networks will not care about UN sanctions, they said.
"Further sanctions are definitely
not going to halt this," said Jean du Preez, who heads the nonproliferation program at the Monterey Institute of International
Studies in California.
"If you look at history,
missile programs were developed in Argentina, Egypt,
South Africa, Libya
and so on at times when those countries were isolated."
Robert Dujarric, a North Korea watcher based in Tokyo,
said the North "can live with US and Japanese hostility and it has for a long time. But it is difficult for the regime to
live well without Chinese and South Korean support.
"The Security Council resolution
is totally symbolic but symbols matter in international relations," he said. "What's really interesting is if the attitude
of China to North Korea