Bush Praises Security Council Actions Against North Korea
By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Oct. 15, 2006 New U.N. sanctions imposed on North Korea in response to its claim of a recent nuclear weapons test “says that we are united in our determination to see to it that the Korean peninsula is nuclear weapons free,” President Bush said at the White House after the sanctions were announced yesterday.
Earlier, the Security Council had voted unanimously to impose several sanctions on North Korea, calling its claimed nuclear test “a clear threat to international peace and security.” North Korea announced it had successfully exploded a nuclear weapon during an Oct. 9 test. Nuclear experts have been working to verify North Korea’s claim.
The new U.N. resolution calls on North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program and also asks all nations to assist in preventing North Korea from obtaining any technology necessary for the production of weapons of mass destruction – which includes nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles -- and other military hardware.
The U.N. also directed its member-nations to inspect all cargo coming into or from North Korea to ensure it doesn’t receive the prohibited WMD material or affiliated technology. The sanctions also ban the sale of luxury goods to North Korea.
North Korean diplomats criticized the sanctions and accused the U.N. of criminal behavior.
The United States has led efforts in the U.N. to obtain sanctions against North Korea. Bush cited the U.N.’s action as “swift and tough” during his remarks at the White House following announcement of the U.N. sanctions.
Earlier yesterday during his weekly radio address, Bush said the United States would work with regional partners and the U.N. “to ensure that there are serious repercussions for the North Korean regime” headed by dictator Kim Jong Il.
North Korea “has been pursuing nuclear weapons and defying its international commitments for years,” Bush pointed out during his radio address. North Korea had pledged to give up its nuclear weapons program in 1994, Bush recalled, but it reneged on the deal.
“After I came to office, we discovered that North Korea had been violating this agreement for some time by continuing work on a covert nuclear weapons program,” Bush said on the radio. “My administration confronted the North Korea regime with this evidence in 2002, and the North Koreans subsequently walked away from the 1994 agreement.”
The U.S. government then decided to ask influential neighbors like Japan, South Korea, Russia and China to join it in engaging North Korea in six-party, multilateral talks, Bush recalled.
In September 2005 “these diplomatic efforts resulted in a wide-ranging joint statement that offered a resolution to the problem and a better life for the North Korean people,” Bush said during his radio address, noting North Korea had “committed to abandoning all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs.”
In exchange, North Korea was offered the opportunity to normalize diplomatic relations with Japan and the United States, Bush said on the radio, as well as the chance of receiving energy, trade and investment economic aid.
The United States affirmed to North Korea that it had no nuclear weapons on the Korean peninsula, Bush continued, nor did the U.S. plan to attack or invade North Korea. But, the North Korean government broke its pledge, he said, and continued work on its nuclear weapons program.
And in view of its apparent Oct. 9 nuclear test, “the North Korean regime has once again broken its word, provoked an international crisis and denied its people the opportunity for a better life,” Bush said during his radio address.
The United States and its partners, Bush has often said, will pursue a diplomatic solution to the North Korean situation.
And, if Kim Jong Il “were to verifiably end his weapons programs, the United States and other nations would be willing to help” North Korea by providing economic assistance, the president said in his remarks at the White House.
“The message today, however, says to the leader of North Korea that the world is united in our opposition to his nuclear weapons plans,” Bush said at the White House.