By Shreerupa Mitra-Jha
The US said that the resolution on North Korea unanimously adopted on Wednesday by the UN Security Council (UNSC) is “among the toughest in the history of the United Nations” and called North Korea “a rogue state among rogue states”.
“This is the only nation in the world to test a nuclear weapon in the 21st century. The country determined to advance its UN-prohibited programmes at the expense of the welfare of its own people,” said Antony Blinken, the US Deputy Secretary of State, to reporters in Geneva.
“We also see with North Korea’s egregious violations of its commitments to the international community with respect to nuclear tests and missile tests that the resolution which is now before the Security Council is among the toughest in the history of the United Nations,” he added.
“Yet the country refuses to change and as we have seen here, in Geneva, refuses even to consider change. It is a rogue state among rogue states and the people of North Korea deserve better,” Blinken said.
North Korea is already subjected to UN sanctions since 2006 for its four nuclear tests and rocket launches and the country is the subject of a permanent item on the agenda of the UNSC.
North Korea launched its fourth nuclear detonation in January 2016.
“We hope the resolution... is implemented effectively,” the senior US official said.
The sanctions will hit hard multiple sectors of the country including limiting or prohibiting the nation's export of coal, iron, gold, and titanium as well as the delivery of aviation and rocket fuel. Cargo going into and out of the country will be subject to strict inspection.
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK or North Korea) government has repeatedly accused other countries of bias against it in the UN Human Rights Council.
On 1 March, the North Korea vowed to boycott any session of the HRC that examines its human rights record, stating that it will "never, ever" be bound by any UN resolutions.
We shall no longer participate in international sessions singling out the human rights situation of the DPRK (North Korea) for mere political attack," its Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong told the 47-member HRC on Tuesday.
He added that any of the UN resolutions concerning North Korea "will be none of our business and we will never ever be bound by them". This signals the further isolation of this already-isolated country.
UN investigators on DPRK have accused the government of crimes against humanity. The next report of the Special Rapporteur on DPRK will be presented to the HRC on 14 March.
The North Korean foreign minister also accused the US, Japan and South Korea of recruiting criminals by sending agents into the country to become “so-called North Korean defectors”.
“The fact that North Korea’s foreign minister refuses to attend sessions on his own country gives some indication of the DPRK’s delusional refusal to confront the realities of what it is doing to its own people,” Blinken said.
Blinken said that if North Korea took irreversible steps towards denuclearization then the issue of “long term peace” could be brought forward.
“There is a very powerful example that could and should inspire North Korea and that is the agreement that was reached with Iran on its nuclear programme,” he added.
The writer is a journalist with the United Nations