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After N Korea H-Bomb Test, UNSC TO Meet Labor Day 10 am, UNSG Speaks But Silent on Cyanide

By Matthew Russell Lee Letter, Photos

UNITED NATIONS, September 3 – Two days before today's North Korean hydrogen bomb test, incoming UN Security Council president for September Tekeda Alemu of Ethiopia held a long press conference at the UN and only mentioned North Korea once, per the UN Department of Public Information's summary, here. Now the US Mission says, "Ambassador Haley and her counterparts from Japan, France, the United Kingdom, and the Republic of Korea requested an emergency UN Security Council meeting to be held in the open chamber in response to North Korea’s latest nuclear test. The Security Council session will be held tomorrow, Monday, September 4, at 10:00 a.m. EDT." On September 3 in Vienna it was said, "Journalists with permanent accreditation to the VIC need no further credentials. All others must be signed in separately upon presentation of a Press ID." Again with the two-tier media access system - and although CTBTO's twitter feed replied to Inner City Press that it would be webstreamed on, it was not. There appeared an apology and link to Facebook Live, with less than 60 viewers. [Later, the Facebook video was put up on YouTube, here.] Zerbo said, among other things, "With regard to the plume, wherever it goes, we have stations... Right now the plume seems to be going north... Twitter feed is forced on us by media, by you... First to our member states, then a statement, then tweet, I think we have to follow the modern world. Our prime way to communicate is to our member states." This is today's UN / international system. Many hours later, Antonio Guterres or really his spokesman who refused 15 of Inner City Press' 17 questions last week put this out: "The Secretary-General condemns the underground nuclear test announced by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). This act is yet another serious breach of the DPRK’s international obligations and undermines international non-proliferation and disarmament efforts. This act is also profoundly destabilizing for regional security. The DPRK is the only country that continues to break the norm against nuclear test explosions. The Secretary-General reiterates his call on the DPRK leadership to cease such acts and to comply fully with its international obligations under relevant Security Council resolutions. The Secretary-General remains in contact with all parties concerned." Guterres had no comment on WIPO working on North Korea's cyanide patent. In late August after North Korea submitted a letter to the UN Security Council about the joint US - South Korea military exercised (Inner City Press put it online here), North Korea fired a missile right over Japan's Hokkaido island. On August 29, there was an emergency UN Security Council meeting - leading to the read out and adoption in the Council chamber past 8 pm, of Presidential Statement, below, that Inner City Press published before the meeting. After Egypt read it out - Egyptian state media Akhbar al Yom, to which the UN is trying to give Inner City Press' long time office, was not even present for this - there were speeches by Nikki Haley, Japan's Bessho, China's Liu and Russia's Nebenzia. Then UN Security threw the press out of the stakeout, to continue work in the lobby since its long time office is assigned to a no-show DPI and UNCA favored retired former journalist. Since then, UN Security refused to allow Inner City Press to enter the UN - at a time tourists as well as state media retirees like Akhbar al Yom's Sanaa Youssef and others are allowed in - to do its work, on this. Inner City Press on September 1 asked Ambassador Alemu four questions, including on Burundi (on the Council's agenda) and the Oromo Protests, a major human rights issue. Video here. But when the UN Department of Public Information wrote up the press conference, it did not even MENTION Burundi, much less the Oromo protests. See UN document here. What is wrong with UN DPI, a corrupt UN Department which spends $200 million a year in public funds, but doe not even has any rules, content neutral or otherwise, on how it accredits and/or restricts the independent press which covers the UN? Where is the new head of DPI, Alison Smale, listed as starting September 1? Where is Antonio Guterres, still silent on the reversal of the Kenyan election scam he praised, and whose spokesman Stephane Dujarric refused to answer 14 of Inner City Press' 17 questions last week?   On the morning of August 29, US Ambassador Nikki Haley stopped at the Security Council stakeout and said, as to North Korea, "Enough is enough." Alamy photos here. UK Deputy Ambassador Jonathan Allen said that he didn't want to prejudge the meeting, but that the entire world condemns North Korea's action. (This included, however belatedly, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, or at least his Associate Spokesperson. Under Guterres, the UN World Intellectual Property Organization has helped North Korea with cyanide patent(s), as Inner City Press asked Nikki Haley about, see below.) Meanwhile the chair of the UN Security Council 1718 Committee, Sebastiano Cardi of Italy, told Inner City Press DPRK arms sales to Syria and/or the UAE was not discussed in his August 25 meeting. Vine Camera video here. The UN Security Council on Saturday August 5 met and adopted new sanctions, including a ban on the export of seafood, iron and iron ore, lead and lead ore. On the evening of August 4 the UN itself allow North Korea to censor an art exhibit in its lobby (exclusive Inner City Press coverage here), at an event attended by (former?) US Mission to the UN spokesperson Kurtis Cooper. On August 8, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA), top Democrat on the East Asia Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said that “a miniature nuclear warhead in North Korea is a massive and unacceptable threat to the United States... We need a coherent and comprehensive strategy from the Trump administration that focuses on immediate direct diplomacy and increased economic pressure, along with military deterrence with regional allies to confront this grave national security threat.  Last weekend, the United Nations Security Council imposed sweeping new sanctions to slash North Korea’s exports by upwards of $1 billion. The UN took an important step, but... President Trump must work to start direct and immediate talks with North Korea.  We cannot afford to wait any longer. The consequences of inaction are too great.” We'll have more on this. In other UN censorship news, while Inner City Press remains under restriction, the Egyptian state media the UN is trying to give its office to didn't even come in, with Egypt as Security Council president. The UN was asked but would not explain this absurdity. On August 4 Inner City Press notice a sign outside windowless UN Conference Room A, of a "Mission of the United States of America: Security Council Experts Meeting [Closed]," to begin at 11 am. Photo here. Inner City Press staked it out, but no one went into the room at that time. Nevertheless by the afternoon a lone Security "Council diplomat" was spoon-feeding Reuters that on Saturday, with a high likelihood, the Council would ban exports of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood. Seafood! What about the UN's World Intellectual Property Organization's work on North Korea's cyancide patent? The UN, and the wire service, were fine with that, as they were with now-convicted Macau based businessman Ng Lap Seng buying the UN, its Department of Public Information and its allies. Absurdly CBS on July 29 had a headline about the US wanting a UN Security Council meeting, including in the body of a the story Nikki Haley's quote that "We have not called for a meeting." Photo here. On July 31, Inner City Press asked the president of the Security Council for July, Liu Jieyi of China, if any question for a meeting had been received, and he said no. Yet CBS still had the story up, and was re-tweeting it, see below. As Inner City Press noted, this from a media which never reported on the UN's World Intellectual Property Organization working on North Korea's cyanide patent - nor, hardly, on the six guilty verdicts in the UN bribery case, even as the UN says it should be paid for its corruption in the Ng Lap Seng UN bribery case. Now Nikki Haley has directly denied the CBS story, calling it misreporting: "Following North Korea’s second ICBM launch on Friday, many have asked whether the United States will seek an emergency Security Council session on Monday. Some have even misreported that we are seeking such a session. That is mistaken. There is no point in having an emergency session if it produces nothing of consequence. North Korea is already subject to numerous Security Council resolutions that they violate with impunity and that are not complied with by all UN Member States. An additional Security Council resolution that does not significantly increase the international pressure on North Korea is of no value. In fact, it is worse than nothing, because it sends the message to the North Korean dictator that the international community is unwilling to seriously challenge him. China must decide whether it is finally willing to take this vital step. The time for talk is over. The danger the North Korean regime poses to international peace is now clear to all." Eight hours after this, CBS re-tweeted the story. Due to this, extrapolating who the non-US source could be, we note sycophantry to the South Korean mission, given that its Ban Ki-moon was Secretary General.  Meanwhile the UN system continues to recruit internationally for "Junior Professional Officers" to work for it in Pyongyang, here - Inner City Press on July 5 asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric about that, and for all details on any North Korean participation in or agreements with the UN JPO program. On July 10, Inner City Press asked the head of the UN's Department of Economic and Social Affairs Wu Hongbo, who said he'd read Inner City Press' previous coverage, to explain if North Korea can as it has at WIPO place a staffer into the UN Department of Political Affairs. Video here. His answer(s) didn't make it clear that North Korea can't. On July 7, after Dujarric had not answered for two days, Inner City Press asked again and it turned out Dujarric had an answer he would not have given if not asked again, in the briefing. From the UN transcript. The UN's World Intellectual Property Organization had defended working on cyanide patents for North Korea, and Guterres' spokespeople had defended it. But on July 4 the UN issued this: "The Secretary-General strongly condemns the launch of a ballistic missile of possible intercontinental range conducted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on 4 July 2017. This action is yet another brazen violation of Security Council resolutions and constitutes a dangerous escalation of the situation. The DPRK leadership must cease further provocative actions and comply fully with its international obligations. The Secretary-General underlines the importance of maintaining the unity of the international community in addressing this serious challenge." The US Mission's subsequent press release said, "A short time ago, Ambassador Nikki Haley and her counterparts from Japan and the Republic of Korea requested an emergency UN Security Council meeting to be held in the open chamber in response to North Korea’s intercontinental ballistic missile launch. The Security Council session will be held tomorrow afternoon at 3:00 p.m. EDT." After the last launch, the UN Security Council added to its sanctions list 14 individuals and four companies. Inner City Press put the resolution online here. This as some on the UN Security Council, and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres or at least his spokesman Stephane Dujarric have no problem with or comment on the UN's own World Intellectual Property Organization helps North Korea with a patent application for social cyanide (WIPO site here).  On Capitol Hill on June 28, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) urged US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley to act on WIPO, including its retaliation against whistleblowers. Haley spoke about reviewing peacekeeping missions, which is needed - as is a review and reversal of the UN's lack of protections for free press, and continued restrictions on investigative Press. At the day's UN noon briefing Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric, UN Transcript here. The UN Secretariat also backed up WIPO on May 26 when Inner City Press asked, transcript here and below. Inner City Press on May 16 began to ask US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley about it (video here). On May 17, Nikki Haley replied to Inner City Press' question: "All parts of the UN system need to support the Security Council in its efforts to respond to the grave threat of North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction programs. Sodium cyanide is banned for export to North Korea by the Security Council. A common sense reaction would be for WIPO to inform the Council of such patent applications. Its failure to do so may have dangerous consequences.”

The UN through spokesman Stephane Dujarric told Inner City Press it supports WIPO, video here. On May 19, Inner City Press asked North Korea's Ambassador Kim In Ryong about it, without answer. Video here.  Then the US Mission to the UN issued a longer press release, here. On May 26, Inner City Press asked the UN's deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq to respond. UN transcript. That is not leadership. Inner City Press adds: condemnation should also include the UN Federal Credit Union, which is soliciting the funds of the North Korean mission and its employees, as well as UNA-USA members. Inner City Press on the morning of May 18 asked the chair of the UN Security Council's North Korea sanctions committee, the Italian Mission to the UN under Sebastiano Cardi, "Does your Mission, which holds the chair of the 1718 Committee, agree that WIPO should have informed the Security Council of this work with North Korea? I recently asked Ambassador Cardi about a DPRK sanctions violation in Germany, without yet much of a response. I notice that the Italian mission stopped sending Inner City Press any information at all in February 2017. Please explain." In the afternoon, the Italian Mission's spokesperson Giovanni Davoli replied, "the Panel of Experts was not aware of this matter. Therefore the Committee could not be. The Panel announced they are going to open an investigation. Once the Committee will receive the report of the panel, we might be able to comment further." We await that, and another answer.
 Inner City Press also on May 18 asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric about Ambassador Haley's response - but all Dujarric would do was refer, positively, to a WIPO press release. In its press release, WIPO says "a DPRK individual citizen applicant filed an international patent application under WIPO’s PCT system in respect of a process for production of sodium cyanide." Are there really "individual applicants" in today's North Korea? Isn't the import of sodium cyanide into North Korea a violation of UN sanctions? Dujarric called this WIPO's "very clear explanation." Inner City Press repeatedly asked Dujarric to state if the Secretariat finds WIPO's statement on May 16 -- before Ambassador Haley's response -- sufficient. Apparently yes. We'll have more on this: Inner City Press has asked other UN Security Council members. Watch this site. In an earlier exchange with UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric, the UN itself acknowledged that the Security Council's Panel of Experts is belatedly looking into it as a possible sanctions violation. Video here, transcript below. Later to May's President of the UN Security Council, Uruguay's Elbio Rosselli, Inner City Press asked about UN WIPO's (non) compliance with UN sanctions, working on a patent for North Korea's production of sodium cyanide. Periscope video here. Ambassador Rosselli said he had not heard of the issue. At the UN's May 16 noon briefing, Inner City Press had asked the UN about that and its reporting that the UN Federal Credit Union, regulated by the US National Credit Union Administration, openly solicits the business of both North Korean employees of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's mission to the UN and the members of the UN Association of the USA (UNA-USA), amid questions of immunity and a previous UNFCU settlement for sanctions violations.  UN briefing video here, from Min 10:20.

UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric dodged on whether Secretary General Antonio Guterres would this time talk to WIPO chief Francis Gurry, as he did not as Gurry deployed criminal defamation law against the press; he also wouldn't answer on UNFCU. UN transcript. UNFCU's website lists under “Missions to the UN in New York eligible to join UNFCU” that of “North Korea (DPRK"). Inner City Press asked UNFCU's Senior Manager of Media Relations Elisabeth Philippe questions including “why some UN member states' missions to the UN are eligible to join UNFCU, including the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and others are not, why members of UNA-USA became eligible to join UNFCU, what regulatory filings in any UNFCU made for this change in field of membership, and any restrictions on the use of these UNA-USA members' funds, and what services UNFCU offers to UN agencies and country teams, in which countries, and if there are any restrictions or safeguards." On deeming the North Korean mission and all of its employees eligible, UNFCU's Ms. Philippe told Inner City Press, “The employees of any mission to the United Nations based in New York are eligible to apply for UNFCU membership. The employees of all missions are eligible to join once their mission has submitted an application and been approved.” The website says the mission itself can join UNFCU. On May 10, Inner City Press asked the chairman of the UN Security Council's North Korea Sanctions Committee Sebastiano Cardi about North Korea's embassy in Berlin renting out space as a hostel, video here. What safeguards does UNFCU, with UNA-USA's members in its field of membership, have?

  On UNFCU expanding its field of membership to including anyone who joins UNA-USA, Ms. Philippe told Inner City Press, “UNA-USA is the largest UN advocacy organization in the United States. UNFCU is a financial organization providing retail banking for the UN community. Members of UNA-USA, who are US citizens or permanent residents of the US, are eligible to become members of UNFCU. In December 2013, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), the US regulatory body which oversees US federal credit unions, approved the expansion of UNFCU membership to include UNA-USA based on a shared mission and values in support of the United Nations. UNA-USA members who become members of UNFCU are eligible for the full suite of products and services available to UNFCU’s field of membership." But what is in the “full suit of products and services” available from UNFCU? The US Office of Financial Asset Control or OFAC settled charges against UNFCU for, in connection with Mission employees, violating sanctions, see here. And Inner City Press' third question, about precisely what services “UNFCU offers to UN agencies and country teams” - including for example in North Korea - remained at publication time unanswered. Now this: "As a member-owned financial institution that serves the UN community globally, UNFCU provides bank account services to UN/agency staff, and consultants subject to payroll requirements of the various UN agencies and subject to the rules and regulations governing all US Financial Institutions. Accounts are maintained in US dollars and are protected by federal share insurance through the National Credit Union Administration. UNFCU complies with US regulations, including those governing US economic sanctions." But why then did UNFCU settle charges of sanctions violations? We'll have more on this. Inner City Press previously exclusively reported for example that "Sudanese nationals working for the UN have had part of their salaries paid into UN Federal Credit Union accounts, in U.S. dollars. Then they were told that these dollar accounts were frozen, and could only be transferred to the Bank of Khartoum." Watch this site.


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