July 15th, 2006 04:36 EST
Ambassador Bolton says U.S., Japan continue to insist on mandatory sanctions By David Anthony Denny
Washington -- Ten days after North Korea launched seven ballistic missiles, the U.N. Security Council is moving toward a vote on a resolution drafted by Japan that would impose mandatory sanctions on the Pyongyang regime, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton says.
"Ten days is a long time, and it's time for a decision," Bolton told reporters July 14 outside Security Council chambers at the United Nations in New York. Bolton said negotiations are ongoing, and the United States continues to insist on a resolution under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter, which would make any sanctions mandatory for U.N. member states.
Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter defines the Security Council's peacekeeping powers and authorizes the council to "determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression" and to take action accordingly to "restore international peace and security."
Japan's draft resolution on North Korea calls for restrictions on the transfer of financial resources, technology and other goods that could contribute to North Korea's missile program. Russia and China, both of whom have veto power in the Security Council, have expressed objections to the text. The two countries submitted their own draft resolution on North Korea July 12, which U.S. and Japanese officials have said is not strong enough. (See related article.)
Asked whether China and Russia now were agreeing to support the Japanese draft, Bolton said, "We do not have agreement at this point."
The U.S. envoy said Japan and the five permanent members of the Security Council held three lengthy meetings on July 13, as well as a meeting on July 14, and that Japan and co-sponsors of its draft resolution were "willing to go a long way" to accommodate many Russian and Chinese concerns. However, Bolton stressed the "importance of a clear, binding Chapter 7 resolution."
"That remains our view and the view of Japan," he said.
Bolton said Chapter VII language is used in "probably hundreds of Security Council resolutions," because dealing with threats to and breaches of international peace and security is the basic jurisdiction of the Security Council. He added that he hoped that "no permanent member would veto a resolution designed to deal with what is obviously a threat to international peace and security."
"But if there is to be a veto," he continued, "there comes a time when countries have to go into that chamber and raise their hand."
China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States are permanent members of the council with veto power. The 10 nonpermanent members currently on the council are Argentina, Congo, Denmark, Ghana, Greece, Japan, Peru, Qatar, Slovakia and Tanzania.
For more information on U.S. policies, see The U.S. and the Korean Peninsula and Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.
(The Washington File is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)