U.N. Security Council eyes sanctions on N. Korea for rocket launch
By The Associated Press
Published: Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012, 6:42 p.m.
WASHINGTON — The United Nations Security Council on Wednesday unanimously condemned the North Korean rocket launch, calling it a “clear violation” of U.N. prohibitions.
U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice said the 15-member council, which has the power to authorize sanctions, will discuss a set of measures to punish North Korea for violating council resolutions barring it from pursuing nuclear and ballistic-missile testing.
North Korea fired the rocket late Tuesday that placed a satellite into orbit, defying international sanctions and showcasing the progress of the nuclear-armed totalitarian regime in ballistic-missile technology.
But the Obama administration is drawing no “red line” for North Korea after a successful long-range rocket test, tempering the public condemnation to avoid raising tensions or rewarding the reclusive communist nation with too much time in the global spotlight.
The United States has said that it won't tolerate Iran's acquisition of nuclear weapons or Syria's use of chemical stockpiles on rebels. North Korea, in some ways, is a trickier case.
Washington wants to condemn forcefully what it believes is a “highly provocative act,” and that was the first public reaction from the White House late Tuesday. But it is mindful of the turmoil on the Korean peninsula and treading carefully, offering no threat of military action or unspecified “consequences” associated with other hot spots.
Just two years ago, the North allegedly torpedoed a South Korean warship and shelled a South Korean island. Some 50 South Koreans died in the attacks, which brought the peninsula to the brink of war.
North Korea already has the deterrent of a nuclear weapons arsenal. The United States is bound to protect neighboring South Korea from any attack, but has no desire for a military conflict.
The attention gained by raising the rhetoric could be construed as a reward by a government that starves its citizens while seeking to leverage any military advance it makes into much-needed aid.
“The allies should have responded with a collective yawn. After all, the plan is nothing new. The DPRK has been testing rockets and missiles for years,” said Doug Bandow, senior fellow at the Cato Institute.
The United States remains technically at war with North Korea. With no peace agreement, only the 1953 armistice ending the Korean War keeps America and the North from hostilities. About 28,500 U.S. troops remain in South Korea to deter potential aggression.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Obama administration delays decision on Keystone XL pipeline
- SpaceX supply ship makes Easter cargo delivery to space station
- Medicaid paid $12M for Illinois dead, audit finds
- Iranian envoy officially blocked by law
- U.S. to cut nuclear ICBMs, keep launch silos under new START treaty
- Heroin-related deaths set record in Ohio
- Grandmother left vengeful note in boys’ slayings, then committed suicide, police say
- Colorado deaths stoke marijuana worries
- Wyatt Earp gun sells for $225K at auction
- Records exonerate ‘X-Men’ director, attorney says
- Judge strikes down Minnesota’s anti-coal law as unconstitutional