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2010年5月26日 (水)

韓国大統領談話 安保理は北朝鮮の責任を問え

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 26, 2010)
UNSC must condemn North Korean attack
韓国大統領談話 安保理は北朝鮮の責任を問え(5月25日付・読売社説)

South Korean President Lee Myung Bak said Monday in a nationwide speech that the March 26 sinking of a South Korean naval patrol ship was "a military provocation by North Korea" and that Seoul would refer the incident to the U.N. Security Council and ask the international community to discuss severe punishment for Pyongyang.

A multinational team of investigators concluded last week, based on physical evidence, that a torpedo attack by a North Korean submarine destroyed the Cheonan corvette, killing 46 sailors near the Koreas' western maritime border. As the South Korean president said, this is nothing but an act of war.

It is a matter of course for the Security Council to condemn North Korea over such an outrage.

Much of the diplomatic focus is currently on how China, a veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council, will respond to this situation. Beijing has so far been very cautious about discussing the sinking in the council, which will make it difficult for the Security Council not only to issue a resolution for additional sanctions but even to issue a presidential statement condemning North Korea.

Beijing may be thinking that it would be counterproductive to drive Pyongyang into a corner.


Attack can't be brushed off

In April last year, the Security Council adopted a nonbinding presidential statement condemning North Korea for test-launching a long-range ballistic missile. This angered Pyongyang, which conducted a second nuclear test in spite of international opposition.

It is feared North Korea would conduct a third test and raise tensions on the Korean Peninsula if the Security Council imposes additional sanctions on the communist state.

However, if the Security Council fails to issue even a presidential statement regarding the sinking, North Korea will take the current sanctions resolution, which demands Pyongyang not conduct nuclear or missile testings, even more lightly. Such a situation would damage not only peace and stability in East Asia but China's national interests as well.


Japan, South Korea and the United States should strive to persuade China to work with them so Pyongyang's actions will not be brushed off. The Strategic and Economic Dialogue between the United States and China, which opened Monday in Beijing, would be a significant opportunity for that purpose, as would the China-South Korea and Japan-China-South Korea summit talks to be held after the dialogue.


Japan must stand firm

As South Korea's own sanction measures, Lee declared all trade and exchanges between the two Koreas would be suspended, except the operations of a joint factory park in the North Korean border town of Kaesong.

The South Korean government also will push Washington harder to restore North Korea to its list of terrorism-supporting states so that the international community will impose heavier sanctions on the country.

Lee strongly warned North Korea that Seoul would invoke its right of self-defense against any armed invasion. He also said South Korea will play an active role in the Proliferation Security Initiative to prevent weapons of mass destruction and related materials from being redeployed or trafficked, and conduct joint antisubmarine military exercises with the United States.

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama told the Security Council of Japan to support South Korea's position and to study what additional sanctions Japan could impose on North Korea.

Japan should adopt a strong line against any North Korean provocation or violation of the Security Council resolution.

Japan must immediately review the Self-Defense Forces' warning, surveillance and information-gathering systems to heighten the effectiveness of the Japan-U.S. alliance.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 25, 2010)
(2010年5月25日01時09分  読売新聞)


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