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On N Korea Launches, UNSC Adopts Another Press Statement, Here

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 22, with Periscope  -- After an emergency UN Security Council meeting that sent until 8 pm, the deputy permanent representative of France, Council president for June, came to tell the press that his take away was that the Coujncil was united in an intent to express firmness... but not tonight.

People wondered: why? Not tonight. But past 3 pm on June 23, this was adopted:

"The members of the Security Council strongly condemned the most recent ballistic missile launches of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on 21 June.  These repeated launches are in grave violation of the DPRK’s international obligations under United Nations Security Council resolutions 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013), 2094 (2013) and 2270 (2016).  The members of the Security Council deplore all DPRK ballistic missile activities noting that such activities contribute to the DPRK's development of nuclear weapons delivery systems and increase tension.  The members of the Security Council further regretted that the DPRK is diverting resources to the pursuit of ballistic missiles while DPRK citizens have great unmet needs.
The members of the Security Council expressed serious concern that the DPRK conducted this series of further ballistic missile launches after the 15 April, 23 April, 27 April, 28 April, and 31 May launches, in flagrant disregard of the repeated statements of the Security Council.  The members of the Security Council reiterated that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea shall refrain from further actions, including nuclear tests, in violation of the relevant Security Council resolutions and comply fully with its obligations under these resolutions.
The members of the Security Council called upon all Member States to redouble their efforts to implement fully the measures imposed on the DPRK by the Security Council, particularly the comprehensive measures contained in resolution 2270 (2016).  The members of the Security Council directed the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1718 (2006) to intensify its work to strengthen enforcement of resolution 2270 (2016) and assist Member States to comply with their obligations under that resolution and other relevant resolutions.  The members of the Security Council also called on Member States to report as soon as possible on concrete measures they have taken in order to implement effectively the provisions of resolution 2270 (2016).
The members of the Security Council reiterated the importance of maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in North-East Asia at large, expressed their commitment to a peaceful, diplomatic and political solution to the situation and welcomed efforts by Council members, as well as other States to facilitate a peaceful and comprehensive solution through dialogue.
The members of the Security Council agreed that the Security Council would continue to closely monitor the situation and take further significant measures in line with the Council’s previously expressed determination."

On her way in on June 22, US Ambassador Samantha Power said "We'll start by seeking a condemnation but we're looking to identify individuals and entities who may be responsible for this repeated series of tests that pose such a threat to int'l peace and security...I can't anticipate yet what the outcome will come out beyond the need for swift and urgent unity in condemnation today.”

Or, not today.

 When Yonhap reported that North Korea had fired another missile on June 21, the UN's email system had been down for five hours. How could UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon speak? Some mused, the South Korean mission. But they deny it, see below.

On June 22 UN Security Council president Francois Delattre of France stopped and said a meeting on the launch(es) is “in the pipeline” for the afternoon and that he'd like to see a Press Statement. But as it hit 6 pm, the Security Council was still hearing from Ban's head of peacekeeping Herve Ladsous about his failure in Malakal in South Sudan. North Korea would not even come up in the Council until 6:30 pm or later.

At 6:28 pm Spain's Ambassador, chair of the DPRK Sanction Comittee, walked in. "Let's see, let's see." And then Japan's new Permanent Representative went in . Periscope here. He'll assume presidency of the Council in eight days. Then with more fanfare, US Samantha Power went in, speaking about the need for unity in the Council. Periscope here.
We'll have more on this.

At noon, Inner City Press asked Ban's deputy spokesman Farhan Haq for Ban's (canned) response, and of any invitation. UN transcript:

Inner City Press: Do you have anything on the missile tests of DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea)?

Deputy Spokesman:  About the DPRK test, yeah.  Yes, I think I do.  One second.  Some people prefer the alphabetical system, but for me, this just messes me up.  Wait a sec.  Yeah.  Yet another launch of ballistic missiles by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, in defiance of the unanimous will of the international community, is a brazen and irresponsible act.  This is a deliberate and grave violation of its international obligations.  The continued pursuit by the DPRK of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles will only undermine its security and fail to improve the lives of its citizens.  The humanitarian consequences that this would entail cannot be stressed enough.  The DPRK must change its course for denuclearized Korean Peninsula.

Inner City Press:  And just following up on that, you’d said a couple days ago that this letter from the DPRK that’s described as an invitation to visit was received.

Deputy Spokesman:  No, no.

Inner City Press:  Didn’t you say you thought…

Deputy Spokesman:  I said a letter was received.  Not an invitation…  [inaudible]

Inner City Press:  All right.  Are you going to circulate the letter, or what does the letter say?

Deputy Spokesman:  The letter’s going… I believe the DPRK has requested that the letter will be circulated as a document, so I think it’s going to be a document.  And I believe it details concerns that they have about some US air activities.

We'll see.Periscope video here.

Permanent YouTube video here
  While it's now said Ban will travel to Cuba for a Colombia - FARC signing, Ban's desire to visit North Korea, seen as helpful to running for South Korean president, is problematized. Will the US, Japan and other want Ban to go at this time? Or in the next six months?

  When Ban Ki-moon wrapped up his five day campaign trip in South Korea with a three-question "press conference" at the UN's DPI-NGO conference, he criticized "coverage of what was supposed to be off-the-record meeting with the Kwanhoon Club" of political correspondents.

Even during Ban's long visit to South Korea, Inner City Press in New York where it has been evicted from its long time shared UN office and confined to minders, told not to question diplomats asked the UN why no transcript was provided of Ban's session with the Kwanhoon Club. It asked again on June 10, the day after Ban himself called such questions "undue."

On June 16, as Inner City Press continued to ask Ban's spokesman Dujarric about Ban's role in retaliation - and Dujarric refused to answer - it was told by other sources that the South Korean mission has come out defending its role in promoting meetings for Ban with South Korea political figures, defending its travel with Ban and specifically denying the Mission wrote speeches for Ban.

On June 18 the South Korean Mission's spokesperson told Inner City Press the "note" was provided to the Office of Ban Ki-moon's Spokesman Stephane Dujarric upon request. See below. On June 20, Inner City Press asked Dujarric's deputy Farhan Haq about it, and about North Korea's "invitation" to Ban. Video here. UN Transcript here:

 Inner City Press:  I'd asked Stéphane on… on Friday about a note that was put out by the South Korean mission, and he'd ended the exchange by saying:  "Ask them."  So, I did.  And one of the things I asked them is… is how this note was prepared or… or how it was that what Stéphane read here was almost identical to the note from the mission.  And they've responded.  Their Deputy Spokesman had said that the note was provided to the SG's office and the UN's Deputy Spokesman's office at their request.  I guess I'm just wondering, since the attempt was made to sort of say, this is totally separate; we don't coordinate speeches, remarks…

Deputy Spokesman:  And we don't.

Inner City Press:  So what was the purp-… in what context did your office request this note from the South Korean mission and…?

Deputy Spokesman:  We… it's because you asked at these briefings, so you asked Stéphane.  And as a result of you asking Stéphane, he asked the mission what they were saying.  We wanted to know because…

Inner City Press:  The reason I ask, what he read out, before I'd asked, before I had any chance to ask the question was identical to the note so it seems like…

Deputy Spokesman:  No, I would doubt that, because, ultimately, what Stéphane wanted to do is know what they were telling you.  You know, obviously, once they gave us what they told you, we took note of that, and so we have that now.  But, it was in response to the fact that you were asking about it.

Inner City Press:  So, it was after Friday's Noon Briefing.

Deputy Spokesman:  It was after whenever you asked.  I mean, you've asked a couple times about this.

Inner City Presst:  No, I asked about the note on Friday. ...Last week the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] said that they'd sent a letter to Ban Ki-moon, which is interpreted by people as an invitation to visit, and I think as of that time you said you hadn't seen it.  Has it now… has this letter been received?  And what do you say to various commentators who say Ban Ki-moon would benefit… this is a direct quote… “enhance his political position as a future Presidential candidate by making such a visit”?

Deputy Spokesman:  We don't have any visit to announce.

Inner City Press:  Do you have the letter?

Deputy Spokesman:  I believe the letter has been received.


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