from Asia Unbound

A Tough UN Presidential Statement and North Korea’s Defiant Response

April 18, 2012

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Blog posts represent the views of CFR fellows and staff and not those of CFR, which takes no institutional positions.

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The UN Security Council issued a toughly-worded Presidential Statement on April 16, 2012, that deplored North Korea’s April 13 launch, called upon North Korea to “re-establish its preexisting commitments to a moratorium on missile launches” and directed the committee responsible for implementing UN security council resolutions against North Korea to make additional sanctions recommendations.

Within twenty-four hours of the UN statement, North Korea responded by rejecting UN condemnation, claiming “sincerity and transparency of the satellite launch for peaceful purposes to the maximum from A to Z.”  The DPRK Foreign Ministry categorically rejected UNSC Resolutions 1718 and 1874 as instruments of antagonism and oppression, pledged to “continue exercising the independent right to use of space,” and asserted that it is no longer bound to its obligations to its February 29 Leap Day Agreement with the United States, stating that “peace is very dear for us but the dignity of the nation and the sovereignty of the country are dearer for us.”

If the events of 2009 are any guide, we should expect more North Korean multi-stage rocket tests, among other unnamed “retaliatory measures” from North Korea.  Where did the Leap Day agreement go wrong, and what is an alternative course of action for the United States?  I tried to answer these questions together with fellow witnesses Michael Green, Patrick Cronin, and Frederick Fleitz in testimony presented to the House Foreign Affairs Committee on April 18th.  You can read more here.

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