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US Power To Circulate DPRK Resolution Thursday, Of Banks and Ports
By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, February 24 --  North Korea launched a rocket and satellite, a month after the Security Council tersely condemned the last test, and just before US football's Super Bowl.

 And on February 24, the US Mission's Kurtis Cooper said, on the record:

“Tomorrow, Ambassador Power intends to submit for consideration by the Security Council a draft sanctions resolution in response to the DPRK’s recent nuclear test and subsequent proscribed ballistic missile launch. We look forward to working with the Council on a strong and comprehensive response to the DPRK’s latest series of tests aimed at advancing their nuclear weapons program.”

  So: restrictions on the use of ports? Further exclusion from the international financial system? And what of the pending free press outrage at the UN?

  As the UN Security Council's 11 am Sunday meeting began, French Ambassador Francois Delattre stood on the entrance steps making points in French and English. China's Ambassdor Liu Jieyi squeezed by the stairs and, when almost into the Council, turned and said, "We are greatly concerned, we are working with the Council." Video here.

After UN (formerly US) official Jeffrey Feltman briefed the Security Council behind closed doors, the Council agreed on a Press Statement, read out at the stakeout by Rafael Ramirez of Venezuela, President for February. Inner City Press tweeted a photo of the Press Statement, here; it says “the Security Council will adopt expeditiously a new Security Council resolution.”

  But on his way out, Russia's Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said, “We haven't seen a text at all.” He said Russia would like to see a re-start of the Six Party Talks abut that “currently the atmosphere is such that the resumption of those talks is unlikely.”

   In a three way stakeout (complete with one question each from US, Japanese and Korean media), US Ambassador Power cited Presidents Obama and Xi Jinping's phone conversation, saying “they agreed on the importance of  a strong and united international response to North Korea’s illegal actions, including through an impactful UN Security Council resolution.”

   South Korea's Ambassador Oh Joon said, “about the missile defense, as you know the Republic of Korea and United States announced yesterday an alliance decision to improve the existing missile defense system. As the terminology first, this is missile defense system, which is defensive in nature. And it shouldn’t worry anyone else because this is focused on North Korea’s provocations and predicated on North Korea’s provocations.”

Before the meeting Japan's Ambassador Yoshikawa said it is time to use the pressure, as fast transcribed by

Yoshikawa: Good morning. Thank you for coming on Sunday morning. We were very shocked at the DPRK has launched themissile despite the warning coming from many corners of the world. And thisis a clear violation of the past Security Council resolutions,  whether you call it a satellite or what. Using their missile technology is a clear violation of the UN security council resolutions, and it came after, four weeks after the nuclear test. So we hope that today the Council will make ourselves very clear that we cannot condone the acts, the violation of the Security Council resolutions by DORK. And it went over Japan, it landed near the Philippines. This is a clear threat to the lives of many people.
Q: You must be frustrated with China.
A: China was for more dialogue, I think. What we need is no longer the dialogue, but using the pressure to make understood the DPRK.
Q: What do you expect today?
A: We will be asking for expeditious, adoption of the robust Security Council resolution.

  Inner City Press has put the DPRK position online on Scribd, here.

 On Saturday night some members of the Security Council announced they had requested an emergency meeting for 11 am, on holding of which the Council's President for February confirmed to Inner City Press: "Is confirmed the emergency meeting of the Security Council tomorrow at 11 am on North Korea."

This came as the French mission told Reuters it wasn't yet confirmed, giving rise to a question related to Reuters spin of the DR Congo Grou p of Experts report's two paragraphs on Rwanda and Burundi. French PR Delattre, despite the urging on FranceDiplo, is still not on Twitter, walked away (politely) from Press questions on Burundi and the Syrian Kurds (Vine here). The French UN spokesman who threw Inner City Press out of the Press Briefing Room, as for the past five days, didn't answer. Watch this site.

  What about UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon? Last time he met with his senior advisers -- all male -- then issued a statement. Then on February 5 he told a UNA-UK audience in London how important gender empowerment has been to him.

  If Ban is in fact running for President in South Korea, how will this help him? And any shadow over the US Super Bowl? Any (early) question in the GOP debate? We'll be following this.

Back on January 6 after North Korea announced it had tested a hydrogen bomb, at the UN a Security Council meeting was called for 11 am. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon read a statement at the UNSC stakeout at 10:30 am, taking no question as usual.

 After 1 pm, Security Council President for January Elbio Rosselli of Uruguay emerged and read out a Press Statement below. Japan's Ambassador Motohide Yoshikawa spoke, and Inner City Press asked him of Ban's moves to visit DPRK. He replied that if such a trip emphasized UN resolutions including on human rights, it could be useful. Video here. But what WAS Ban's trip going to be about?

   Earlier, UNTV fed out B-roll of Ban meeting with his advisers -- Kim Won-soo and Jeff Feltman formerly of the US State Department, Vine here -- and Ban canceled a previously scheduled (also “no questions”) appearance that Inner City Press and the Free UN Coalition for Access critiqued here.

Back on November 17, 2015 when Ri Hung Sik, Ambassador at-large of the Democratic People's Republic of Korean, held a press conference at the North Korean mission, he said that he had heard nothing, nothing at all, about UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon visiting North Korea, which Yonhap ascribed to a senior UN source.

Even when asked a leading question about a hypothetical Ban trip, Ri Hung Sik said Ban's UN would have to improve its relations with DPRK. Inner City Press is putting the audio online here, and embedded below.

 Inner City Press ran back to the UN and asked Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric, transcript here:

Inner City Press: here was just a press conference at the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) mission, and there their minister, Ri Hung Sik, asked about the Secretary-General's possible reported trip, said he's heard nothing about it at all and that there are many rumours on the internet.  He also said that this South Korean national security law that makes it illegal for South Korean citizens to speak positively of the DPRK… that's how he described it… should be looked at by the UN.  So I wanted to know, what is the Secretary-General's view of that law?  And if that's an accurate description, is he bound by it?

Spokesman:  I'm not aware of the law.  As far as Ban Ki-moon, he is the Secretary-General of the United Nations and is doing his duty as such.

   But why did Team Ban play it so coy on Yonhap's report? Now late on November 17, the UN has issued this more specific denial:

"In response to questions asked about a report from Xinhua and the Korean Central News Agency stating that the Secretary-General would be travelling to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea next week, the Spokesman had the following to say: The Secretary-General will not be travelling to the DPRK next week. He will be in New York most of the week and then travel to Malta for the Commonwealth Summit. From there, he will go to directly to Paris to attend CoP21. The Secretary-General has repeatedly said that he is willing to play any constructive role, including traveling to the DPRK, in an effort to work for peace, stability and dialogue on the Korean Peninsula."

  Before Inner City Press left the DPRK mission on November 17, it asked Ri Hung Sik for his view of UN Special Rapporteur Marzuki Darusman and when or if UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Prince Zeid will visit North Korea.

  Of Darusman, Ri Hung Sik said he met him only once, and that it seems Darusman does not speak his own words, or think his own thoughts. Of Zeid, he said the discussion is of technical cooperation, but no date was given. Video here.

   During the press conference, there was no question, as at a prior DPRK press conference, about Donald Trump...


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