« 参院のあり方 「政局の府」から脱する時だ | トップページ | 参院選民主敗北 バラマキと迷走に厳しい審判 »

2010年7月12日 (月)

安保理議長声明 北朝鮮への警戒を怠るな

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jul. 12, 2010)
Maintain vigilance against North Korea
安保理議長声明 北朝鮮への警戒を怠るな(7月11日付・読売社説)

The U.N. Security Council on Friday unanimously adopted a presidential statement that condemned "an attack that led to the sinking" of the South Korean Navy corvette Cheonan in March.

South Korea referred the incident to the Security Council early last month. Although long overdue, it was a welcome development that the Security Council was unanimous in expressing its will to thwart any attack or other hostile action that would further aggravate the situation.

However, diplomatic bargaining rendered the presidential statement unsatisfactory because of its opacity on the crucial point of who attacked the South Korean vessel.

The presidential statement expressed "deep concern" over the incident following South Korea's investigation into it that found North Korea responsible for the sinking. At the same time, the statement also "took note" of North Korea's assertion stating "it had nothing to do with the incident."


Equivocal statement

Behind the presidential statement is the assumption that China would not have given its approval unless the document incorporated the opinions of both sides.

South Korea's joint military-civilian investigation team concluded that the cause of the Cheonan sinking was a torpedo attack by North Korea. Based on that conclusion, Japan and the United States have given full support to South Korea, which has denounced North Korea's responsibility.

In response, China, which has deep relations with North Korea, rejected the investigation's conclusion and was cautious over the Security Council's handling of the issue.

China reportedly was strongly opposed to condemning North Korea by name, saying such a move could provoke Pyongyang militarily. There also is no doubt that China took a negative view of a planned joint naval exercise by the United States and South Korea on the Yellow Sea as a reaction against North Korea.

The problem now is North Korea's next move. Soon after the Security Council's unanimous adoption of a presidential statement condemning North Korea's test-firing of a ballistic missile last year, an enraged Pyongyang conducted its second nuclear test since 2006.

If North Korea takes another provocative action that threatens regional safety in response to the current situation, Japan, South Korea and the United States will need to further strengthen their coordination in a determined, resolute manner to block such action. China and Russia also should act in concert with Tokyo, Seoul and Washington.


North Korea at crossroads

Conversely, if North Korea chooses the road toward abolishing its nuclear weapons, the international community will cooperate in rehabilitating Pyongyang's economy. First and foremost, North Korea unconditionally must return to the six-party talks on scrapping its nuclear ambitions.

North Korea has been rocked by anxiety over the declining health of its leader Kim Jong Il and the country's economic collapse.

In May, Kim Il Chol, former minister of the North Korean People's Armed Forces, suddenly was dismissed from the country's National Defense Commission and as first vice minister of the People's Armed Forces. Last month, during a session of the Supreme People's Assembly, which is normally held only once a year but was convened twice this year, Kim Jong Il's brother-in-law was promoted to a powerful position in the leadership. Also, in September, North Korea plans to hold a meeting of delegates of its ruling communist Workers' Party of Korea for the first time in 44 years. The moves apparently are related to the eventual transfer of power from Kim Jong Il.

The sinking of the South Korean naval vessel occurred in the context of these dangerous times. Given North Korea's nuclear weapons and missiles, we must never omit precautions for unexpected contingencies. Now is the time for Japan, South Korea and the United States to first start discussions on contingency planning.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 11, 2010)
(2010年7月11日01時09分  読売新聞)


« 参院のあり方 「政局の府」から脱する時だ | トップページ | 参院選民主敗北 バラマキと迷走に厳しい審判 »





« 参院のあり方 「政局の府」から脱する時だ | トップページ | 参院選民主敗北 バラマキと迷走に厳しい審判 »