North Korea nuclear crisis

North Korean official accuses UN of refusing to discuss alternatives to sanctions

North Korea’s UN representative accused the secretary general of ignoring multiple requests from Pyongyang to explore other options

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 27 May, 2017, 1:39am
UPDATED : Saturday, 27 May, 2017, 9:35am

North Korea has slammed UN Security Council resolutions meant to restrict the country’s trade and international financial ties and accused Secretary General Antonio Guterres of ignoring multiple requests from Pyongyang to consider alternatives.

North Korean deputy permanent representative to the UN Kim In-ryong said Guterres has not responded to requests to convene an “international forum of legal experts” to discuss the legal justification for UN sanctions implemented and tightened in recent years – most recently in November 2016.

The Security Council’s resolutions are meant to stop Pyongyang’s nuclear detonations and missile tests, a programme analysts say is meant to develop nuclear weapons. The body has issued a series of resolutions since 2006, after six-nation talks involving North Korea, China, the US, Japan, South Korea and Russia broke down.

Kim’s delegation has also sent several petitions to the UN Security Council seeking an emergency meeting to discuss joint military exercises conducted by the US and South Korea.

“However, as everybody witnessed, the UN secretariat turned its back to our fair requests, and rather picked a quarrel only with our legitimate exercise of the right to self-defence against the US nuclear threats and blackmail,” Kim said, reading from a prepared statement.

North Korea vows to strengthen nuclear capabilities, tells US to end ‘nasty nuclear threats’

The Security Council has held two emergency meetings in as many weeks to discuss the North Korean military’s most recent missile tests. US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, backed by her Japanese and South Korean counterparts, is calling for additional measures aimed at isolating North Korea and on May 16 asked for consensus on ways to punish countries that flout existing resolutions.

North Korea characterises its missile tests as “part of normal procedures to bolster the military capabilities for self-defence and a process that has to be gone through for deployment”, Kim said on Friday.

Haley and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have ruled out any negotiation with North Korea until its government takes verifiable steps to freeze its weapons programme.