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Japan, US push divided UN to punish North Korea
Cat : WMD
Date : 2006-10-05 17:59:29                      Reader : 267
initiative for international annual conference under title:" World without WMD". Japan who suffered the most must be a leader in this conference . JKF initiative in sixtees is still valid to start with. But warning some countries and encouraging others is useless policy !!

 

Associated France Press (AFP) 5/10/2006

Japan, US push divided UN to punish North Korea

 

by Shaun Tandon

TOKYO (AFP) - Japan has called on a divided UN Security Council to impose tough sanctions on North Korea if it tests an atom bomb, but Pyongyang warned it would not back down unless the United States compromises.

Stoking regional jitters, the United States said Thursday it had detected possible preparations for a nuclear test and a leading South Korean newspaper predicted the communist regime could detonate a bomb as early as next week.

Amid divisions at the UN Security Council, a senior Japanese official on a visit to Washington backed invoking a chapter of the UN Charter authorizing far-reaching sanctions or theoretically military action.

"In the event that North Korea conducts a nuclear test, it would inevitably be necessary to seek a resolution with Chapter VII at the UN Security Council," vice foreign minister Shotaro Yachi said.

New Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, well known for his hard line on Pyongyang, is set on Sunday to visit China and South Korea which have cautioned against further isolating their communist neighbor.

"A good discussion has to take place at the United Nations to make the North realize that if the country continues taking such actions it would be in an even more severe situation," Abe told parliament.

North Korea on Tuesday dramatically raised the stakes in the long-running standoff over its nuclear programme by announcing it would test a bomb at an unspecified date.

Chosun Sinbo, a newspaper published by ethnic Koreans in Japan and seen as representing Pyongyang's view, warned Thursday that a test was "unavoidable" unless the United States adopted a more conciliatory stance.

"The DPRK (North Korea) statement on a nuclear test is not empty talk but clearly premised on action," the newspaper said in a dispatch from Pyongyang, according to its Korean-language website.

Japan and the United States already have imposed most of the sanctions at their disposal against the impoverished nation, which conducts the bulk of its trade with China and South Korea.

The North, which last year declared itself nuclear-armed, has boycotted six-nation disarmament talks since November to protest one set of US sanctions aimed at blocking it from money laundering and counterfeiting.

But even after Tuesday's statement there was no sign of unanimity at the Security Council, which rebutted Japanese and US attempts to invoke Chapter VII after North Korea test-fired seven missiles in July.

Christopher Hill, the US lead negotiator to stalled six-party talks, said Washington had warned the North Koreans against a test via their mission at the United Nations.

"I am not prepared at this point to say what we are going to do, but I am prepared to say we are not going to wait for a nuclear North Korea. We are not going to accept it," Hill said.

But South Korea, whose Foreign Minister Ban Ki-Moon is set to be the next UN secretary general, went ahead and shipped thousands of tons of cement to the North as part of aid for recent floods.

"Before North Korea pushes ahead with a nuclear test we have to gravely warn of the consequences," President Roh Moo-Hyun said, "through various channels and stepped-up diplomatic efforts to resume dialogue amd negotiation."

The Security Council's 15 ambassadors were due to meet again on Thursday to study a Japanese draft "presidential statement," which is non-binding.

Japan is willing to downgrade it even to a simple press statement so it can be passed as quickly as possible before any test, chief government spokesman Yasuhisa Shiozaki said in Tokyo.

A US intelligence official said unusual movement had been detected at one of several suspected test sites in North Korea.

"The bottom line is they could conduct it with little or no warning," said the official, who spoke to AFP in Washington on condition of anonymity.

South Korean daily Dong-a Ilbo put two dates on the watchlist for a test -- Sunday, October 8, marking leader Kim Jong-Il taking leadership in the ruling Workers Party, and October 10, marking the party's birthday.

The newspaper predicted the North Koreans could also pick October 9, when Abe is due to make his maiden visit to South Korea as prime minister.

It said the North Koreans had timed the planned test ahead of November 7 US midterm elections in which the Republican party of President George W. Bush -- who branded Pyongyang part of an "axis of evil" -- is predicted to lose seats.

But senior Japanese officials said they had no signs yet that a test was imminent.


 
 
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