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“Deja Vu All Over Again”: The UNSC, China and Missiles

by and Jaesung Ryu | April 23rd, 2012 | 07:00 am
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To quote Casey Stengel, its déjà vu all over again. As we noted in an earlier post, the pattern of missile test, UN condemnation, DPRK indignation, nuclear test seems set to repeat itself; over the weekend, intelligence leaks in South Korea were suggesting that the test could come earlier than expected, perhaps as soon as two weeks.

UN Security Council actions have always been constrained by China’s (and to a lesser extent Russia’s) veto. But Beijing may not be abiding by even the watered-down resolutions and presidential statements coming out of New York. The military parade before which Kim Jong Un gave his maiden speech included a transporter erector launcher for short- and intermediate range missiles that appears to be of Chinese design; moreover, there is also the possibility that Chinese technology may have played a role in the missile launch itself.

These allegations remain unproven, the US is being cautious, and there are certainly stories we can construct that do not involve intentional subversion of the sanctions; we review them below. Nonetheless such leakage not only weakens UNSC action but further calls into question  Beijing’s role as an honest broker in the long-stalled Six Party Talks.

In this post, we first document the “déjà vu all over again” and then comment briefly on the Presidential Statement in light of the stories on Chinese support for the DPRK missile program.

We reproduce below in full the KCNA reports of Pyongyang’s reaction to five UNSC actions:

  • UNSCR 1695 (July 15, 2006) following the missile tests;
  • UNSCR 1718 (October 14, 2006) following the first nuclear test;
  • The Presidential Statement of April 13, 2009, following the long-range missile test;
  • UNSCR 1874 (June 12, 2009), following the second nuclear test;
  • The Presidential Statement of April 16, 2012, following the recent failed launch.

They have a depressing similarity. In particular,

  • The tests in question were themselves the result of a hostile policy on the part of the US and the need of North Korea to defend itself, despite the fact that at none of these junctures were there any signs of increased US military threats.
  • The resolutions were nothing more than a concerted effort to disarm North Korea and render it vulnerable. In a line that could have come straight out of the Melian dialogue in Thucydides, one statement notes that “only the strong can defend justice in the world today where the jungle law prevails. Neither the UN nor anyone else can protect us.”
  • The responses all exhibit the convoluted legalism that is characteristic of North Korean diplomacy.  North Korea argues that it was fully within its sovereign right to test missiles–and even nuclear weapons because of their formal withdrawal from the NPT—and that all tests were conducted with full transparency. In particular, the satellite-missile distinction and reference to the space treaty was unveiled in force in the wake of the 2009 Presidential Statement. As Jared Genser argued for us, North Korea seems to be technically incorrect with respect to the major international legal issues involved, which is hardly surprising. As a member of the United Nations, North Korea is legally bound by UNSC decisions, period.

We admit that these positions make sense given the small and thoroughly militarized nature of the country. But there is one kicker. All of the North Korean statements also contain more or less explicit threats. While the earlier (ie. 2006) threats seemed open to improved relations with the US and the resumption of talks—and are even seeking to force the issue–the ones from 2009 forward show much less interest and the most recent explicitly reneges on the freeze; draw your own conclusions.

To cite chapter and verse:

  • July 2006, after missile tests. “We have already clarified that we 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.” In addition, “…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 U.S.”
  • October 2006, following nuclear test. “…if anyone attempts to infringe upon the DPRK’s sovereignty and right to existence even a bit under the signboard of the UNSC ‘resolution,’”—including through sanctions—“it will deal merciless blows at him through strong actions.”
  • April 2009, following missile test, a very much harder and more explicit line. In addition to asserting its right to peaceful use of outer space, this important statement withdrew “permanently” from the Six Party Talks, a position that was subsequently reversed. However, it also contained some of the more explicit threats, all of which the regime made good on. To “boost its nuclear deterrent for self-defence in every way,” the regime promised to “restore to their original state the nuclear facilities which had been disabled according to the agreement of the six-party talks and bring their operation back on a normal track and fully reprocess the spent fuel rods churned out from the pilot atomic power plant as its part.” In addition, the regime promised to “positively examine the construction of its light water reactor power plant in order to round off the structure of the Juche-based nuclear power industry,” which was the justification given for the HEU program.
  • June 2009. “It has become an absolutely impossible option for the DPRK to even think about giving up its nuclear weapons… First: The whole amount of the newly extracted plutonium will be weaponized…Second: The process of uranium enrichment will be commenced…Third: An attempted blockade of any kind by the U.S. and its followers will be regarded as an act of war and met with a decisive military response.”
  • April 2012. “Firstly, we resolutely and totally reject the unreasonable behavior of the UNSC to violate the DPRK’s legitimate right to launch satellites…Secondly, we will continue exercising the independent right to use space recognized by the universally accepted international laws which are above the UNSC resolutions. We will expand and strengthen space development institutions and continue launching a variety of working satellites needed for economic development of the country including geostationary satellites under the state plan for space development….Thirdly, as the U.S. violated the Feb. 29 DPRK-U.S. agreement through its undisguised hostile acts, we will no longer be bound to it [ie., by the freeze components of the deal, outlined here)].” This last is of course the source of the concern that in the absence of some dramatic US concession, the North Koreans will go forward with a third—or perhaps fourth and fifth—test.

Now to China. A surprising aspect of 1718 and 1874 was that the Chinese signed on to sanctions. These did not include commercial trade and were limited to WMD-related trade and finance; indeed, as we show commercial trade between the two countries even increased after the sanctions. But they did include heavy weapons systems and any-WMD related trade.

The Financial Times broke the story that the UN panel of experts is looking into the issue of the missile launcher on display in the military parade on a tip from Jane’s Defense Weekly. (Elsewhere, we have described in some detail the functions of the panel of experts and some of the earlier Chinese efforts to block their findings, so don’t hold your breathe.) Several days before, the Washington Times –again on the basis of Jane’s analysis—had raised the issue of Chinese assistance with the missile launch itself.

Josh Rogin’s Foreign Policy blog and the indispensible Nelson Report picked up on both the substance and the political angle. The substance is that the launcher on display was likely to have been a post-2006 design and/or manufacture, rendering moot any claim that this was a pre-sanctions transfer. The politics is in the form of a letter from Republican Congressman Mike Turner (OH) to Secretary Clinton, with the apparent hope of bringing heat to bear on the administration over the outsourcing of policy to China (when in fact, the administration has harbored fewer expectations in that regard than its predecessor).

And then there is the international fallout. Evans Revere –whose judgment we respect—was not the only one to note the strength of the Presidential Statement. But take a second look; we disagree. First, there was no chance whatsoever of getting an actual resolution from the UNSC; the Presidential Statement was from the start a compromise.

But second, what does it say? The statement takes the following actions:

“The Security Council agrees to adjust the measures imposed by paragraph 8 of resolution 1718 (2006), as modified by resolution 1874 (2009). The Security Council directs the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1718 (2006) to undertake the following tasks and to report to the Security Council within fifteen days:

(a) Designate additional entities and items;

(b) Update the information contained on the Committee’s list of

individuals, entities, and items (S/2009/205 and INFCIRC/254/Rev.9/Part.1),

and update on an annual basis thereafter;

(c) Update the Committee’s annual workplan.”

Designating additional entities and items and updating the Committee’s work plan is certainly welcome. But what is the “modified paragraph 8 of 1718”? It is para. 10 of 1874, which reads as follows:

“10. Decides that the measures in paragraph 8 (a) of resolution 1718 (2006) shall also apply to all arms and related materiel, as well as to financial transactions, technical training, advice, services or assistance related to the provision, manufacture, maintenance or use of such arms, except for small arms and light weapons and their related materiel, and calls upon States to exercise vigilance over the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer to the DPRK of small arms or light weapons, and further decides that States shall notify the Committee at least five days prior to selling, supplying or transferring small arms or light weapons to the DPRK…”

Does this need any explanation? What good is a “strengthened” Presidential Statement when China may have violated its terms even as it was agreeing to it? The administration is being rightly cautious. Secretary of Defense Panetta stated clearly on Thursday in House testimony that “there has been some help coming from China.” But an unidentified official cited in the New York Times story was more circumspect and State Department spokesman Mark Toner went further saying that the US will “take [China] at its word.” Among the reasons this may not be willful proliferation are:

  • The Chinese manufacturer, suspected to be Hubei Sanjiang, sold only a chassis, not a complete vehicle;
  • The North Koreans no doubt dissembled about its ultimate use, probably stating it was for purely civilian purpose;
  • North Korea no doubt operated through a front company that made any direct connection to the military less obvious;
  • A solid story by the Washington Post notes that the North Koreans might have secured the launch chassis as a re-export from a third country.

All of these are well-known problems in maintaining a coherent export control or sanctions regime. Nonetheless, sanctions only have intended consequences if effectively enforced; the US should work this issue aggressively with Beijing and the UNSC should investigate the charge independently as well. As we always say, though: don’t hold your breath.

1. Response to UNSCR 1695 (July 15, 2006)

DPRK Foreign Ministry Refutes “Resolution of UN Security Council”

Pyongyang, July 16 (KCNA) — The Foreign Ministry of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea issued today the following statement vehemently denouncing and totally refuting the “resolution” of the UN Security Council against the DPRK, a product of the U.S. hostile policy toward it: The vicious hostile policy of the United States towards the DPRK and the irresponsibility of the UN Security Council have created an extremely dangerous situation on the Korean Peninsula where the sovereignty of the Korean nation and the security of the state have been seriously infringed.

The U.S. has recently kicked up much row after bringing the issue of the missile launches conducted by our army as part of the routine military training for self-defence to the UN under the motto of reacting to it in one voice. It was against this backdrop that the U.S. forced the UN to adopt a UN Security Council resolution taking a serious note of our exercise of its right to self-defence on July 15.

The U.S. sponsored “resolution” called for an international pressure for disarming the DPRK and stifling it, terming the missile launches pertaining to its right to self-defence “a threat to international peace and security”.

By doing so the U.S. sought to describe the issue between the DPRK and the U.S. as an issue between the DPRK and the UN and form an international alliance against the DPRK.

This has brought such serious consequences as gravely violating the dignity and sovereignty of the DPRK and driving the situation to an extreme pitch of tension, thereby seriously disturbing peace and security on the peninsula and in Northeast Asia.

It was an entirely unreasonable and brigandish act that the U.S. brought to the UN the DPRK’s missile launches nothing contradictory to any international law after branding them as a violation.

This time the U.S. attempted till the last moment to apply Chapter 7 of the UN Charter legalizing a military action against the DPRK. This indicates that the “resolution” constitutes a prelude to the provocation of the second Korean war.

It is a brigandish logic to claim that missile launches conducted by the U.S. and Japan are legal while the training of missile launches conducted by the DPRK to defend itself is illegal.

Any missile fire or any nuclear test approved by the U.S. is connived at and they are not subject to discussion at the UN.

This is the reality today.

The U.S. has made mockery of the DPRK’s true heart and sincere efforts to realize the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner through dialogue and negotiations. Yet the U.S. is now asserting that it will not punish the DPRK once it come out for the six-party talks but punish it if it fails to do so. This is sheer sophism which can never be justified.

Only the strong can defend justice in the world today where the jungle law prevails.

Neither the UN nor anyone else can protect us.

The past history and the present reality show that only a country with its powerful force can defend the national dignity and its sovereignty and independence.

It is a day-dream to calculate that our principle will alter due to the change of the world.

We have already clarified that we 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.

The Foreign Ministry of the DPRK is authorized to clarify as follows in view of the grave situation prevailing on the peninsula:

First, our Republic vehemently denounces and roundly refutes the UNSC “resolution”, a product of the U.S. hostile policy towards the DPRK, and will not be bound to it in the least.

Second, 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 U.S.

We will firmly defend our own way the ideology and system chosen by our people, true to the Songun policy, a treasured sword.

 

2. Response to UNSCR 1718 (October 14, 2006)

DPRK Foreign Ministry Spokesman Totally Refutes UNSC “Resolution”

Pyongyang, October 17 (KCNA) — A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Tuesday issued the following statement: On Oct. 14 the United States instigated the UN Security Council to pass another “resolution” calling for harsh international sanctions and blockade against the DPRK, unreasonably describing its nuclear test for self-defence as a “threat” to international peace and security.

The successful nuclear test in the DPRK was an exercise of its independent and legitimate right as a sovereign state as it was a positive defensive countermeasure to protect the sovereignty of the country and life and security of the people from the U.S. escalated nuclear war threat and sanctions and pressure.

The DPRK was compelled to legitimately pull out of the NPT according to its relevant provision and manufactured nuclear weapons after undergoing the most fair and aboveboard and transparent processes as the U.S. seriously encroached upon the supreme security of the DPRK and the fundamental interests of the Korean nation under the pretext of the nuclear issue.

The DPRK conducted the test proving its possession of nukes in a legitimate manner after fairly announcing it in advance, something unprecedented in view of international practice.

It conducted the nuclear test under the conditions where its security is fully guaranteed and clearly declared that the DPRK, a responsible nuclear weapons state, would never use nukes first and will not allow nuclear transfer.

It also clarified that it would make every possible effort to promote the worldwide nuclear disarmament and the final elimination of nuclear weapons and invariably adhere to the principle to realize the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula through dialogue and negotiations.

However, the U.S., the very one that has driven the DPRK to the nuclear test, is describing the DPRK’s nuclear test as a “threat” to international peace and security, while shelving what it has done like a thief crying “Stop the thief!” This totally preposterous act is intolerable.

The nuclear test in the DPRK was a great deed that greatly contributed to defending peace and stability not only on the Korean Peninsula but in the rest of Northeast Asia as it demonstrated powerful deterrent for coping with the U.S. nuclear threat and blackmail and foiling its attempt to ignite a new war.

The UNSC, paying no heed to all these facts, feigned ignorance of the U.S. hostile policy toward the DPRK, the policy that spurned the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, and is now incriminating the DPRK’s exercise of its sovereign right to defend the sovereignty of the country, while trumpeting about the denuclearization of the peninsula. This is an immoral behavior utterly devoid of impartiality.

The UNSC “resolution,” needless to say, cannot be construed otherwise than a declaration of a war against the DPRK because it was based on the scenario of the U.S. keen to destroy the socialist system of Korean-style centered on the popular masses.

The DPRK vehemently denounces the “resolution,” a product of the U.S. hostile policy toward the DPRK, and totally refutes it.

The adoption of this “resolution” made it impossible for the UNSC to evade the historic responsibility for having patronized and connived at the U.S. which caused the division of Korea, the root cause of all misfortunes of the Korean nation, in violation of the UN Charter the cornerstone of which is the principle of sovereignty, equality and self-determination and has systematically perpetrated undisguised moves to “bring down the system” in the DPRK.

The present development clearly proves once again that the DPRK was entirely right when it decided to have access to nuclear weapons, its people’s choice.

The U.S. would be well advised not to miscalculate the DPRK.

If the Bush group, oblivious of the lessons drawn from the shameful setbacks recorded in the history of the relations between the preceding U.S. administrations and the DPRK, calculates it can bring the DPRK to its knees through sanctions and pressure, pursuant to the already bankrupt hostile policy toward it, there would be nothing more ridiculous and foolish than its behavior.

The DPRK had remained unfazed in any storm and stress in the past when it had no nuclear weapons. It is quite nonsensical to expect the DPRK to yield to the pressure and threat of someone at this time when it has become a nuclear weapons state.

The DPRK wants peace but is not afraid of war. It wants dialogue but is always ready for confrontation.

As already clarified by the DPRK, it will fulfil its responsibility for realizing the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. But if anyone attempts to infringe upon the DPRK’s sovereignty and right to existence even a bit under the signboard of the UNSC “resolution,” it will deal merciless blows at him through strong actions.

The DPRK will closely follow the future U.S. attitude and take corresponding measures.

 

3. Response to UNSC Presidential Statement (April 13, 2009)

DPRK Foreign Ministry Vehemently Refutes UNSC’s “Presidential Statement”

Pyongyang, April 14 (KCNA) — The Foreign Ministry of the DPRK issued the following statement Tuesday denouncing the United States and its followers for finally perpetrating hostile acts of daring take issue with the DPRK’s satellite launch for peaceful purposes by abusing the United Nations Security Council defying its repeated warnings:

The UNSC issued a brigandish “presidential statement” condemning the DPRK’s satellite launch on April 14.

Looking back on its history, the UNSC has never taken issue with satellite launches.

The UNSC whose permanent members are those countries which launched more satellites than any other countries tabled and discussed the DPRK’s launch of satellite for peaceful purposes although it was legitimately conducted after going through procedures under international law. This is an intolerable mockery of the Korean people and a thrice-cursed crime.

The hostile forces are claiming that the DPRK’s satellite launch would result in improving its long-range missile capacity but this is not the essence of the issue.

The gravity of the issue lies in that the standard guiding the UNSC’s action may change depending on who launches something whether it is a satellite or a long-range missile.

It is the logic of the U.S. that Japan may launch satellites because it is its stooge and the DPRK should not be allowed to do so as its system differs from theirs and does not obey them.

It is the UNSC that accepted the U.S. brigandish logic as it is.

The UNSC’s action was a wanton violation of international law as it ran counter even to the outer space treaty which stipulates that “Outer space shall be free for exploration and use by all States without discrimination of any kind, on a basis of equality and in accordance with international law.”

The prevailing situation clearly proves that the principle of sovereign equality and impartiality stipulated in the UN Charter are a mere show and it is only the logic of strength which works in the international relations.

There arises a question as to whether the UN is necessary for the DPRK as it infringes upon the sovereignty of its member nation.

The DPRK Foreign Ministry declares as follows for the present to cope with the prevailing situation:

First, The DPRK vehemently refutes and condemns the unjust action taken by the UNSC wantonly infringing upon the sovereignty of the DPRK and seriously hurting the dignity of the Korean people.

The DPRK will continue to exercise its independent right to the use of outer space based on international law including the outer space treaty reflecting the unanimous will of the international community, not arbitrary practices of the UNSC which has been reduced to a tool for high-handed acts.

Second, there is no need any more to have the six-party talks which the DPRK has attended.

The spirit of respect for sovereignty and sovereign equality clarified in the September 19 joint statement for denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula is the basis and the life and soul of the six-party talks.

The six-party talks have lost the meaning of their existence never to recover now that the parties to the talks themselves totally denied this spirit in the name of the UNSC and now that Japan, which has desperately obstructed the talks from their outset, openly and unilaterally applied sanctions against the DPRK over its satellite launch.

The DPRK will never participate in such six-party talks nor will it be bound any longer to any agreement of the talks as they have been reduced to a platform for encroaching upon its sovereignty and forcing it to disarm itself and bringing down its system.

It will positively examine the construction of its light water reactor power plant in order to round off the structure of the Juche-based nuclear power industry.

Third, the DPRK will boost its nuclear deterrent for self-defence in every way.

The hostile forces’ escalated military threat that they will intercept even a satellite for peaceful purposes compels the DPRK to further increase its nuclear deterrent.

The DPRK will take a measure to restore to their original state the nuclear facilities which had been disabled according to the agreement of the six-party talks and bring their operation back on a normal track and fully reprocess the spent fuel rods churned out from the pilot atomic power plant as its part.

The hostile forces are seriously mistaken if they thought they could bring the DPRK to its knees by force.

It is the basic purport of independence, Songun of the DPRK that it can never repeat the disgraceful history a century ago when the whole of Korea was conquered by the Japanese imperialists in the long run, after being violated and cajoled by big powers around it as it was weak in its national power.

The DPRK will defend the peace and security on the Korean Peninsula with the might of Songun in a responsible manner though the six-party talks cease to exist and the process of denuclearization collapses due to the hostile forces.

 

4. Response to UNSCR 1874 (June 12, 2009)

DPRK Foreign Ministry Declares Strong Counter- Measures against UNSC’s “Resolution 1874″

Pyongyang, June 13 (KCNA) — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea issued the following statement Saturday in connection with the fact that at the instigation of the U.S., the United Nations Security Council has finally adopted a “resolution on sanctions” against the DPRK over its second nuclear test:

On June 12, the United Nations Security Council, at the instigation of the U.S., has finally adopted a “resolution on sanctions” against the DPRK over its second nuclear test.

This is yet another vile product of the U.S.-led offensive of international pressure aimed at undermining the DPRK’s ideology and its system chosen by its people by disarming the DPRK and suffocating its economy.

The U.S. and Japan, not content with this “resolution”, are hatching dirty plots to add their own “sanctions” to the existing ones against the DPRK by framing up the fictional issues of “counterfeit money” and “drug trafficking”.

The U.S. incited the United Nations Security Council to get more deeply embroiled in its attempt to stifle the DPRK, which resulted in the creation of an unprecedentedly acute tension on the Korean Peninsula.

This confrontation was sparked off by unlawful strong arm actions of the U.S. and its obedient UNSC in denial of the legitimate right of a sovereign state to launch satellites.

The UNSC’s April 14th “presidential statement” orchestrated by the U.S. does not hold any ground in view of international law.

What permeates this statement is none other than animosity against and rejection of a country that has a system different from theirs along with an arrogant and arbitrary view that a small country must obey a large one.

The DPRK is a small country, but it is a political, ideological and military power.

If this high-handed act of the U.S. is tolerated, the DPRK will no longer be entitled to launch satellites again –which everyone else does– but will forever be deprived of its right to use outer space.

The DPRK’s second nuclear test is a self-defensive measure as it was conducted to cope with such hostile acts of the U.S. and this does not run counter to any international law.

In essence, this confrontation is an issue related to the sovereignty and dignity of the DPRK rather than an issue related to peace and security– this is the DPRK-U.S. confrontation.

There can be no genuine peace in the absence of independence and equality.

Had any other country found itself in the situation of the DPRK, it would have clearly realized that the DPRK has never chosen but was compelled to go nuclear in the face of the U.S. hostile policy and its nuclear threats.

It has become an absolutely impossible option for the DPRK to even think about giving up its nuclear weapons. It makes no difference to the DPRK whether its nuclear status is recognized or not.

Upon authorization, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the DPRK strongly condemns and rejects the UNSC “resolution 1874″ and declares that it will take the following countermeasures at this early phase of all-out confrontation with the U.S. in order to defend the national dignity and the country’s sovereignty.

First: The whole amount of the newly extracted plutonium will be weaponized.

More than one third of the spent fuel rods has been reprocessed to date.

Second: The process of uranium enrichment will be commenced.

Pursuant to the decision to build its own light-water reactor, enough success has been made in developing uranium enrichment technology to provide nuclear fuel to allow the experimental procedure.

Third: An attempted blockade of any kind by the U.S. and its followers will be regarded as an act of war and met with a decisive military response.

No mater how hard the U.S.-led hostile forces may try all sorts of isolation and blockade, the DPRK, a proud nuclear power, will not flinch from them.

It is the Songun idea-based mode of counter-action for the DPRK to decisively counter “sanctions” with retaliation and “confrontation” with all-out confrontation.

 

5. Response to UNSC Chairman’s statement (April 16, 2012)

DPRK Rejects UNSC′s Act to Violate DPRK′s Legitimate Right to Launch Satellite

Pyongyang, April 17 (KCNA) — The DPRK Foreign Ministry Tuesday issued the following statement:

The U.S. and its followers committed a hostile act of violating the DPRK’s right to satellite launch by abusing the United Nations Security Council again.

On April 16 the UNSC issued a statement of its chairman “condemning” the DPRK’s satellite launch for peaceful purposes.

The DPRK took steps to show the sincerity and transparency of the satellite launch for peaceful purposes to the maximum from A to Z as an exception and aroused sympathy of broad world public.

The U.S., finding it hard to conceal the truth, after hatching all sorts of dastardly trick to prevent the peaceful nature of the DPRK’s satellite launch from being confirmed objectively and persistently term it a long-range missile launch, imposed upon the UNSC its brigandish demand that the DPRK should not be allowed to launch even a satellite for peaceful purposes.

The UNSC has been abused under the pressure of high-handed and arbitrary practices of the U.S. and its catastrophic consequences have been felt still today in various parts of the world.

UNSC resolutions 1718 and 1874 which the hostile forces regard as the “ground” to take issue with the DPRK’s satellite launch are a product of their high-handed policy for antagonizing and oppressing the DPRK and the height of illegality they faked up at random, disregarding even universally accepted international law.

It is the brigandish essence of these resolutions that those countries which refuse to meekly obey the U.S. should not be allowed to develop their national defence capability and to this end they should be deprived of even their right to launch satellites for peaceful purposes.

Such unreasonable double standards are possible at the UNSC because such standards are in line with the interests of those countries keen to monopolize such cutting-edge technology as satellite launch.

The present developments clearly show that the principle of equality as regards sovereignty clarified in the UN Charter is a mere high-sounding word and justice should be protected by one’s own efforts.

The DPRK Foreign Ministry declares as follows in connection with the grave infringement upon the right of the sovereign state to launch satellites for peaceful purposes:

Firstly, we resolutely and totally reject the unreasonable behavior of the UNSC to violate the DPRK’s legitimate right to launch satellites.

It is the unshakable principle of the army and people of the DPRK not to tolerate even the slightest element to deride and encroach upon the dignity of the nation and the sovereignty of the country.

Secondly, we will continue exercising the independent right to use space recognized by the universally accepted international laws which are above the UNSC resolutions.

We will expand and strengthen space development institutions and continue launching a variety of working satellites needed for economic development of the country including geostationary satellites under the state plan for space development.

Nothing can stand in the way of the DPRK’s space development for peaceful purposes.

Thirdly, as the U.S. violated the Feb. 29 DPRK-U.S. agreement through its undisguised hostile acts, we will no longer be bound to it.

We have repeatedly clarified from the outset that we will sincerely implement the Feb. 29 agreement to the last and took practical steps to implement it as the satellite launch for peaceful purposes is an issue quite different from the agreement.

No sooner had the DPRK’s plan for satellite launch been announced than the U.S. suspended the process for the provision of food pursuant to the DPRK-U.S. agreement under that pretext. This time, the U.S. spearheaded the hostile act of encroaching upon the DPRK’s legitimate right to launch satellites by abusing the position as chairman of the UNSC.

The U.S. finally reneged on its promise that “it respects the sovereignty of the DPRK and has no hostile intent toward it” in practice, totally violating the Feb. 29 agreement.

We have thus become able to take necessary retaliatory measures, free from the agreement. The U.S. will be held wholly accountable for all the ensuing consequences.

Peace is very dear for us but the dignity of the nation and the sovereignty of the country are dearer for us. -0-