N.Korea threatens end to nuclear talks

By Wang Li in Pyongyang and Hao Zhou in Beijing Source:Global Times Published: 2013-1-24 1:18:01

North Korea on Wednesday vehemently rejected the latest resolution unanimously approved by the UN Security Council and threatened to close the door on denuclearization talks and to boost its military capabilities, including nuclear deterrence.

A statement by the North Korean Foreign Ministry carried by the official Korean Central News Agency called the Security Council a "marionette" of the US and the resolution was putting the stability of the Korean Peninsula "at greater peril."

It also declared that North Korea had concluded that there would be "no talks for the denuclearization" of the Korean Peninsula and that it will "take steps for physical counteraction to bolster the military capabilities for self defense, including the nuclear deterrence."

The UN resolution, which "deplores" North Korea's December rocket launch for violating its previous resolutions, added six North Korean entities, including Pyongyang's space agency, the Korean Committee for Space Technology, and the man heading it, Paek Chang-ho, to an existing UN blacklist.

It also said the Security Council was determined to take "significant action in the event of a further DPRK (North Korea) launch or nuclear test."

Zhang Liangui, an expert on North Korea at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee, said the measures in the new resolution were short on substance but put greater political and diplomatic pressures on Pyongyang.

"The swift reaction and comparatively lengthy statement suggests that bargaining between China and the US on the terms of the resolution has left enough time for Pyongyang to get prepared," Zhang said.

Li Baodong, the Chinese permanent representative to the UN, said Tuesday that certain elements in the original draft of the resolution, which in China's view would "jeopardize" normal trade between North Korea and other countries and "harm the livelihood" of the North Korean people, had been removed, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang on Wednesday called the resolution "generally balanced" and said that it has "delivered some positive information" to North Korea while showing the "common stance of the international community" toward North Korea's recent rocket launch.

"The message from China is clear," said Wang Junsheng, a researcher on Korean Peninsula issues with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. "By passing the resolution China was warning North Korea against its intention to abduct China diplomatically, and by blocking more sanctions China was telling North Korea to return to the right track, the Six-Party Talks."

Japan, the US, and South Korea on Wednesday also welcomed the adoption of the new UN resolution, but the Yonhap News Agency reported that Seoul and Washington were considering slapping their own additional sanctions on North Korea.

"The security situation in Northeast Asia will probably end in a vicious circle if North Korea defies the international pressure with a new missile launch or goes further on nuclear tests, which will draw more severe punishment from the UN as it warned," said Shi Yuanhua, director of South Korea Studies Center at Fudan University.

"Rationally speaking, the Six-Party Talks were likely to resume this year as North Korea has turned its focus to domestic economic development and South Korea has a new president, Park Geun-hye, who is keen on reengagement with the North," Wang told the Global Times. "North Korea now holds the key to decide the future of the peninsula."

Wang Gang in Seoul contributed to this story

Posted in: Asia-Pacific

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