- Nov 22, 2003
- Reaction score
China, Russia present N. Korea resolution
By EDITH M. LEDERER, Associated Press Writer 11 minutes ago
China and Russia introduced a resolution Wednesday deploring North Korea's missile tests but dropping language from a rival proposal that could have led to military action against Pyongyang.
Japan and the United States welcomed the draft but said it had major deficiencies and they would still press for a Security Council vote on their resolution though no date has been set.
"There is no change to our view that the resolution incorporating sanctions should be voted on promptly," Japanese Chief Cabinet Shinzo Abe said in Tokyo on Thursday. "We cannot be pushed around by intentions to diminish or delay" action against North Korea.
The Japanese resolution's supporters have delayed a vote to wait for the outcome of a high-level Chinese visit to North Korea which began on Monday.
China's U.N. Ambassador Wang Guangya said the delegation, which will return Friday, delivered a message from China's top leaders expressing concern over the missile tests "and also what we considered the North Koreans should do to make diplomacy succeed."
"So far we have not received any feedbacks from the North Korea leadership," he said.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill said Washington was likely to give China's diplomatic efforts only a few more days before pushing for a tough U.N. resolution. He accused the North of failing even to respond to Chinese overtures.
"My sense is we're down to a number of days," Hill said Thursday during a visit to Beijing.
"The Chinese are as baffled as we are," he added. "China has done so much for that country and that country seems intent on taking all of China's generosity and then giving nothing back."
Wang confirmed that he had been instructed to veto the Japanese resolution and expressed hope that through negotiations in the next few days "we can find a way and the language that could unify the whole council."
He said the Chinese-Russian proposal would calm the situation in northeast Asia and "be beneficial for peace and stability in the region."
Wang previously said Beijing objected to three key elements in the Japanese draft: the determination that the missile tests threatened international peace and security, authorizing action under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter which can be enforced militarily, and mandatory sanctions aimed at curbing North Korea's missile and nuclear programs.
The Chinese-Russian draft resolution drops these three elements, which Japan and the United States consider crucial.
The Chinese-Russian draft "strongly deplores" North Korea's multiple missile launches and calls on Pyongyang to re-establish a moratorium on missile tests.
It requests but does not demand that all U.N. member states "exercise vigilance in preventing supply of items, materials, goods and technologies that could contribute" to North Korea's missile program. It also calls on all members "not to procure missiles or missile-related items" or technology from the North.
By contrast, the much stronger Japanese resolution would ban North Korean missile tests and prevent the reclusive communist nation from acquiring or exporting missiles and missile technology or weapons of mass destruction and their components.
It also demands that North Korea immediately stop developing, testing, deploying and selling ballistic missiles.
Both resolutions strongly urge the North to immediately return to six-party talks on its nuclear program without preconditions.
Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said Beijing and Moscow would have preferred a presidential statement, which is weaker and not legally binding, but agreed to a resolution to respond to the wishes of other council members.
"I think the initial response of Security Council members was quite encouraging," he said. "I don't want to sound too optimistic but I think that the ground is there for a successful outcome of this process."
Japan's U.N. Ambassador Kenzo Oshima called the Chinese-Russian draft "a move in the right direction" and U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said "we view this as a significant step and think it's important."
But both envoys made clear it had serious deficiencies.
"A quick glance shows that there are very serious gaps on very important issues," Oshima said of the Chinese-Russian draft.
Bolton cited the Chinese-Russian draft's elimination of Chapter 7 and the declaration that the tests constitute a threat to international peace, and its use of the weaker words "calls upon" rather than the Japanese text's "decides" which is an order.
"As of now, we're prepared to proceed at an appropriate time with a vote on the draft resolution," Bolton said. "We're going to study this draft that the Russians and Chinese have submitted, but if they vote no, that's their perfect right under the (U.N.) Charter, and everyone can draw their conclusions."