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On DPRK, Extended Scope of Sanctions, No Jeopardizing of Trade, China Says

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, Jan 22, updated with transcripts -- After the North Korea resolution was adopted by the UN Security Council by a 15-0 vote on Tuesday afternoon, the Ambassadors of the US, China and South Korea each came out to take press questions.

  Inner City Press asked US Ambassador Susan Rice if the resolution was "proportionate" -- as China's Li Baodong said was his country's benchmark -- and if it really imposed "new sanctions."

  Rice did not address the word "proportionate." She called the latter question "semantics," arguing that by definition it is new sanctions: new companies and entities on the sanctions list.

  Later South Korea's Permanent Representative Kim Sook said the resolution "extended the scope of the sanctions."

  Inner City Press asked Li Baodong if the resolution China agreed to included new sanctions. He said there had been proposals for new sanctions which would have "jeopardized normal trade" for North Korea, and that these are been rejected and excluded from the resolution.

  Back in December after DPRK's launch, Inner City Press asked South Korea's Kim Sook if he had spoken in the consultations he'd attended as an incoming Council member. "Until January," he answered, "I have no mouth."

  On Tuesday Inner City Press asked, now that you have a mouth, being on the Security Council, how do you feel about the negotiations being between the US and China, only presented late to the Council's 15 members?

  Kim Sook replied diplomatically that all 15 members contributed. But is that really true? Watch this site.

US Mission to the UN's transcript:

Inner City Press: China had said it would only agree to a resolution that was, in its view, proportionate to this launch. Do you think that this response-they're claiming that it doesn't really-it's putting new names under existing sanctions but it's not really new sanctions. Is it a proportionate response?

Ambassador Rice: ...Clearly there are new sanctions in this resolution. By definition, any time additional entities or individuals or items are banned from action that they would otherwise not be banned from, that's a new sanction, by definition. So, we don't need to have a semantic debate and discussion here.

But this is also a resolution that built upon 1874 and 1718 and was a substantial tightening of the existing regime, which as you know is already a very robust sanctions regime. And we think the tightening of it and strict implementation of it, in and of itself, are very valuable steps. We worked quite closely and cooperatively, as I said, not only with China but other partners in the P5, and the Republic of Korea and Japan and other interested members of the Security Council to arrive at this outcome. We think it is a strong and credible outcome worthy of the collective effort we all invested in it. Thank you very much.

Summary from stakeout of RoK PR Kim Sook:

Inner City Press: It seems the resolution was negotiated between the US and China.  What was South Korea's role in those negotiations?  Are you satisfied by the process?

Amb. Kim Sook: I appreciate the demonstration of solidarity in the security council in the process of negotiating the language of the resolution, and I especially appreciate the role that was played by the United States and China, but at the same time, this is the concerted effort of all the security council members.  So, we did what we did, and every member had played a positive role, I would say.  I'm not going to go into detail about that, but we did actually participate, and I think I contributed in a positive way.

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