The UN Security Council plans to convene an emergency session on Sunday to deal with Korean tensions. Russia officially requested the meeting in an apparent move to prevent further military escalation in the West Sea amid North Korea’s warnings of “deadlier” firepower retaliation against South Korea’s live-fire drills that were planned for this weekeend, either Saturday or Sunday, but may now be postponed to early next week due to poor maritime weather conditions.
Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin is about to make a press statement in a matter of minutes. (See statement below)
North Korea is playing the military card and nuclear card simultaneously. Pyongyang shelled South Korea’s Yeonpyeong Island on November 23, 2010 killing both soldiers and civilians, in its first deadliest attack on South Korea since the Korean War ended in 1953. The regime previously disclosed its pilot uranium enrichment facility to American scientist Sig Hecker along with construction plans for an indigenous light-water reactor.
It is unclear how certain points will be discussed among Council members and what action it will take. The least (lowest action) the Council can do in terms of response or action is to release a President’s Statement. The last time the Security Council met over North Korea’s provocation was after Pyongyang sank the South Korean ship Cheonan. But the Council’s action was very weak and disappointing since the UNSC Statement did not name North Korea as the attacker upon China’s influence.
Korea watchers generally are not hopeful for any substantive results at the Council this time.
With looming questions over the Security Council’s effectiveness, there is a debate among experts as to whether the Council should uphold its obligation to take action as instructed by the UN Charter or whether Council involvement would actually interfere with a matter that should be dealt with between the two Koreas first. (Click Read More)
Statement by Vitaly Churkin, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN, 18 December 2010:
“We are seriously concerned about possible further escalation of tensions on the Korean peninsula.This situation directly affects the national security interests of the Russian Federation.This morning I sent a letter to the current President of the Security Council – the delegation of the United States – requesting that an emergency meeting of the Council be called on the situation on the Korean peninsula.We believe that the Security Council must send a restraining signal to the Republic of Korea and DPRK and help launch diplomatic activity with a view to resolving all issues of dispute between the two Korean sides by political and diplomatic means.However, the President of the Security Council declined to convene such a meeting today. We regret that. We believe that such a step by the President is a departure from the practice existing in the Council.The US delegation has promised that the meeting of the Council will be convened on Sunday, December 19th, at 11 a.m. New York time and that the information to that affect is going to be circulated now to the Members of the Security Council, the UN Secretariat and the media.We assume that nothing will happen in the interim that would bring about a further aggravation on the Korean peninsula.”