Wants Name of Shelled Island Out of
As the Korea
of the UN Security
Council went into its sixth hour, the action moved into the Council
Chamber, albeit still behind closed doors. While Western diplomats
claimed that Russia is now being “flexible,” they pilloried China
for opposing even the inclusion in the draft press statement of the
name of the island that North Korea shelled.
West on the
other hand insists that a press statement must “condemn” North
Korea. China opposed this after the November shelling, and seems to
oppose it still. Three times during the afternoon the Council was
said to be waiting from word back from Beijing.
members are not allowed in the consultation room, which explains the
move to the Chamber for what's called a “private meeting.” One
assumes that South Korea must want to say something -- why change
rooms just to have them present, when the US and Japan can clearly
tell the South Koreans what is said?
UN's Ban and Hu Jintao, action on Korean shootout not shown
have eaten pizza and watched the
Philadelphia Eagles shock the New York Giants in the first of two NFL
football games. Now snow is falling in Pittsburgh where the NY Jets
are playing the Steelers. Will this Council Korea standoff end before
this game? Before the NFL season
is over? Watch this site.
a Western diplomat emerges and emphasizes that the
Chamber meeting will have a record - but it's not public. US may
release its statement, & Susan Rice may speak to press.
Press corp disenchanted, some grumble its all play acting, or trying
to show China it is isolated on this one. But not clear if that's
true, and if China cares.
* * *
As Even Russia & China Disagree on Ban
Three hours into the UN
emergency meeting about the Korean peninsula, diplomats emerged to
describe the split between the positions of US, Japan, South Korea
and other Western countries and that of Russia and China.
Ambassador Vitaly Churkin put it on December 18, when the US Mission
to the UN rebuffed his request for a Saturday meeting of the Council,
both sides should be told to show restraint -- implying that South
Korea should not go forward with its military exercises now scheduled
for Monday or Tuesday.
that South Korea's exercises are only self defense, and that any
Council statement should lay the blame on the DPRK.
do not fully agree. Inner City Press is told that
while Russia wants to refer “relevant statements” of Secretary
General Ban Ki-moon, China says it doesn't agree with some of these
Churkin & S-G Ban (and Kim Won-soo), statements not shown
could go on well into the day. The television
at the media stakeout was turned to NFL football, Giants versus
Eagles. A lunch break was taken, with a US Mission staffer returning
with two bags of food. Susan Rice, unlike Churkin, never emerged from
the Chamber. Watch this site.
1st update: during
the lunch break, several UN officials came out of the Council chamber:
Lynn Pascoe, Fink Heysom and Kim Won-soo. Some wondered, where IS Ban K-moon?
Update of 2:45 pm: a
Western diplomat emerges and tells the Press that now there are two
texts, the Russian one (which the Westerner says "doesn't put any blame
on the DPRK") and another text, which blames DPRK for "the incidents of
November" shelling and even the Cheonan sinking. Big gap...
Now meeting takes 2d break, 3:40 to 4, to “get
instructions,” Uganda Perm Rep says. It's hard to see this gap
being bridged. Araud of France says it could be a half hour, “They
are waking up Beijing.” One wags calls after him: it's a 40 year
process, I'm told.
-- Churkin comes out and says we had a good discussion, we
put forward a compromise, we'll see. A Western journalist asks why NOT
assign blame? Churkin says, you don't know what the statement's going
* * *