Friday, October 13, 2006

DPRK Update: IAC Statement; Central News Agency Reports on Recent Developments

President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Secretary of State Rice, Secretary-General Annan, and Congressional Leaders,

I am writing this letter to oppose the current international campaign of threats and vilification against North Korea being carried out by the U.S. government, and to demand that it end immediately!

With the recent routine testing of a nuclear weapon by the DPRK, the Bush Administration is working overtime to gather international support for sanctions and other hostile actions towards North Korea.

It is clear that the current crisis arises, not from North Korea, but from the hostility of the U.S. government towards the people of the DPRK (North Korea).

The DPRK has been trying to normalize relations with the U.S. for more than 50 years, but Washington refuses to sign a peace treaty that would formally end the Korean War. During that war, which concluded with a 1953 cease fire, the U.S. killed 4 million Koreans.

The DPRK has made every effort to work for peace in the region. It has repeatedly prosed the denuclearization of the region. It has called for a non-aggression pact. It has offered to abandon the quest for nuclear weapons in return for recognition of its soveriegnty, guarantees against attack and normalization of relations with the U.S. government. It has done everything possible to avoid the conditions that make nuclear weapons necessary for defense and to protect its national survival.

The Bush response has been to label the DPRK as part of the "Axis of Evil," and has targeted it for "regime change." As the whole world witnesses the torture, death and wholesale destruction that "regime change" has brought to the people of Iraq, the DPRK has every reason to be concerned and has every right to take necessary steps to defend itself.

Currently, the DPRK is encircled by U.S. warships, bomber and fighter squadrons, nuclear weapons and 30,000 U.S. troops in South Korea.

It is important to put the launch of the missiles in perspective to see which country is the real threat to peace in the region. The DPRK tested one small nuclear weapon. The U.S. nuclear stockpile contains almost 10,000 nuclear warheads. This includes 5,735 active or operational warheads: 5,235 strategic and 500 nonstrategic warheads. The U.S. also has approximately 4,225 additional warheads held in the reserve or inactive stockpiles. Many of these weapons are in the region of the Korean peninsula, on planes, missiles and submarines and are a direct threat.

The U.S. is also the only country to ever use nuclear weapons against civilian targets. In the Nuclear Posture Review of 2002, the Bush Administration declared its right to use nuclear weapons against the DPRK in its global crusade of regime change.

The real threat to peace and security in the region comes from Washington. The Bush Administration has created the present crisis.

I demand that Washington end the crisis by taking the following measures

No U.S./UN sactions against North Korea

Stop U.S. threats, aggression, and war

Bilateral Talks with North Korea to normalize relations

Sign the peace treaty - No war!

U.S. Troops out of Korea.

Abayomi Azikiwe

To sign the same letter go to the following URL:


KCNA Ridicules U.S. Futile Waste of Money

Pyongyang, October 13 (KCNA) -- The United States decided to annually offer a million U.S. dollars in financial aid to the non-governmental "human rights" organizations in south Korea which specialize in anti-DPRK broadcasting service. This is part of the U.S. hostile moves to destroy the socialist system chosen by the Korean people themselves by tarnishing the image of the DPRK and pressurizing it to bring about a "change" by every possible means and method.

It is the U.S. trite method to use its propaganda machines for hurting the dignity of those countries which stand in the way of attaining its aims or forcing them to effect "changes".

In the past period, the U.S. used broadcasting media and publications as leverage for stepping up its interference in the internal affairs of many countries and precipitating their collapse.

It is still widely using those media for spreading American-style "freedom" and "democracy" all over the world in a bid to create illusion about the U.S. and spark political conflict and instability, confusion and disorder in other countries. It is also setting in motion those media to float information to be used as pretexts for interfering in politics, culture, economy and other internal affairs of those countries that court its displeasure and spread misinformation about them.

The U.S. is now hatching every conceivable plot to bring down the DPRK, while directing the spearhead of attack against it.

Its hostile policy toward the DPRK has gone beyond the tolerance limit and a dangerous atmosphere of confrontation reminiscent of that on the eve of war is now prevailing on the Korean Peninsula.

It is against this backdrop that the U.S. is escalating its financial sanctions against the DPRK worldwide while being busy spreading sheer lies in a bid to intensify its operations to destabilize the DPRK as evidenced by the reinforced operation of "Voice of Free Asia."

Even foreign public opinion commented that such sharp increase in funding as the recent action is an indication that "it is aimed to lead north Koreans to bring about a substantial change in their consciousness".

It is foolish of the U.S. to escalate its anti-DPRK moves even offering a large amount of money to betrayers of the nation hell-bent on slandering their fellow countrymen and fanning up confrontation.

The above-said plots and smear campaign of those forces hostile towards the DPRK are nothing but the last-ditch efforts of those who know nothing of the DPRK where the leader, the party and the people form a harmonious whole.

The U.S. would be sadly mistaken if it calculates it can break any moment the Korean people's unity in political and ideological aspects and in the sense of moral obligation, the unity that was achieved and has grown strong through their practical experience.

The U.S. financial support to the anti-DPRK broadcasting services would get it nowhere.


U.S. Violation of Human Rights Flailed

Pyongyang, October 13 (KCNA) -- U.S. Congress recently adopted an act on dealing with "suspects in terrorism," which is an outright challenge to the world community demanding a halt to the encroachment upon the rights of prisoners. Rodong Sinmun today says this in a signed commentary.

The adoption of the act is a criminal document legalizing the GIs' violations of human rights as evidenced by its clauses, the news analyst notes, and goes on:

This act allows any military trial of "suspected terrorists" even in the absence of clear evidence and any practices to wrest testimonies from them by force. In particular, it does not call for taking any legal action against those who abuse human rights in the course of torturing and interrogating "suspected terrorists."

It is not hard to guess what the U.S. has sought in the adoption of such highhanded act. Through this the U.S. seeks to justify and incite its imperialist aggression forces' human rights abuses and punish a great many innocent people on charges of being
"suspected terrorists" in a bid to whip up an atmosphere of terror in the international community. Their ulterior motive is to escalate the "war on terrorism" to realize its design for world domination.

The U.S. desperate efforts to attain its aims for aggression and domination through such act will only reveal its true colors as the world's worst abuser of human rights and invite its international isolation and worldwide condemnation.

Its arbitrary and highhanded practices are the root cause of wrecking global peace and stability and challenging international justice.


60th Anniversary of Korean Writers Union Observed

Pyongyang, October 13 (KCNA) -- A meeting was held here on Thursday to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Korean Writers Union (KWU). A congratulatory message of the C.C., the Workers' Party of Korea to the writers and officials of the union was conveyed by Secretary Kim Ki Nam.

The KWU, founded on October 13, Juche 35(1946), has carried out its honorable mission and duty for the party and revolution, covering the proud path of development under the wise leadership and deep care of the party and the leader for the past 60 years, the message said, and went on:

The writers and officials of the union conducted the dynamic activities of writing revolutionary literature, always sharing mind and destiny with the party in the annals of the building of a new country, the Fatherland Liberation War and socialist construction, and thus defended the party and the leader and contributed to educating the people politically and ideologically, culturally and emotionally and arousing them to the revolution and construction.

They waged an active drive to carry through the party's policy of literary and art revolution in the historic work of modeling the whole society on the Juche idea and brought about a turn in writing literary works of different forms including literature portraying the leader, thus contributing to opening a new chapter of the development of Juche-based literature and stepping up the socialist construction.

And they wrote many monumental epics and masterpieces of the times with their pen for devotedly defending the leader in the hard period of the "Arduous March", thus contributing to strengthening the single-minded unity of the revolutionary ranks and encouraging the army and the people to defend socialism and build a great prosperous powerful nation.

A report was made by Vice-Chairman of the KWU Central Committee Jang Sang Ik, and then followed speeches.

The reporter and speakers said that they would defend Kim Jong Il politically and ideologically with their lives and faithfully uphold the Songun leadership of the party with signal achievements in writing, holding President Kim Il Sung in high esteem as the eternal sun of Juche with their firm revolutionary faith and noble moral obligation.

They called for thoroughly arming with the Juche idea, the Songun idea of the party and glorifying the honor of eternal companions, loyal helpers and good advisers to the party, sharing destiny with their leader in any adversity.


Kim Yong Nam Meets Cuban Delegation

Pyongyang, October 13 (KCNA) -- Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly, Friday met and had a friendly talk with the Cuban government economic delegation headed by Ramon Ripoll Diaz, first vice-minister of Foreign Investment and Economic Cooperation, at the Mansudae Assembly Hall. On hand were Rim Kyong Man, minister of Foreign Trade, and Ruben Perez Valdes, Cuban ambassador to the DPRK.


Protocols Signed between DPRK and Cuba

Pyongyang, October 13 (KCNA) -- A protocol of the 25th meeting of the DPRK-Cuba inter-governmental economic, scientific and technological consultative committee and a protocol on exchange of commodities in 2007 were inked here on Friday. Present at the signing ceremony from the Korean side were Rim Kyong Man, minister of Foreign Trade, and officials concerned and from the opposition side were members of the Cuban government economic delegation headed by Ramon Ripoll Diaz, first vice-minister of Foreign Investment and Economic Cooperation, and Ruben Perez Valdes, Cuban ambassador to the DPRK.

The protocols were signed by Rim Kyong Man and Ramon Ripoll Diaz.


Kim Jong Il's Work Published in Mexico

Pyongyang, October 13 (KCNA) -- General Secretary Kim Jong Il's famous work "Let Us Carry Out the Great Leader Comrade Kim Il Sung's Instructions for National Reunification" was brought out in booklet on October 5 by the Publishing House of the Workers' Party of Mexico. The work published on August 4, Juche 86 (1997) deals with the undying feats President Kim Il Sung performed for the cause of Korea's reunification and formulates the three principles of national reunification, the 10-point programme for the great unity of the whole nation and the proposal for founding the Democratic Federal Republic of Koryo as the three charters for national reunification and indicates the tasks to be tackled to accomplish the cause of national reunification on the basis of the charters and ways to do so.


Important Days of DPRK Observed

Pyongyang, October 13 (KCNA) -- Diverse events including a friendly meeting, a film show and a photo exhibition were held in Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Congo and Singapore from September 22 to October 5 on the occasion of the 61st anniversary of the Workers' Party of Korea and the 80th anniversary of the Down-with-Imperialism Union. The vice-chairman of the National Democratic Party of Egypt, addressing the friendly meeting, said that the Songun policy pursued by Kim Jong Il is the unique, powerful and ideal one, stressing that under his leadership the WPK and the Korean people would register greater victory in the future, too.

The manager of a Singaporean company, after watching a DPRK film, said that he was deeply impressed by the great and wise leadership ability of Kim Jong Il and the might of the single-minded unity of all the people around him. He noted that Kim Jong Il is the great man steering the politics of the 21st century.


DFRK Founding Proposal Supported

Pyongyang, October 13 (KCNA) -- The secretary general of the International Federation of Arab Trade Unions issued a statement on Oct. 5 on the occasion of the 26th anniversary of the proposal for founding the Democratic Federal Republic of Koryo. He noted that the proposal serves as a blueprint for Korea's reunification as it indicates all aspects of a unified state and ways to achieve the reunification.

The International Federation fully supports the three charters for national reunification set forth by President Kim Il Sung and formulated by leader Kim Jong Il, recognizing that these charters serve as a banner for settling the issue of Korea's reunification independently and peacefully, he said.


DIU Anniversary Celebrated

Pyongyang, October 13 (KCNA) -- Factory workers, trade union members and agricultural working people held celebration meetings before the statues of President Kim Il Sung on Mansu hill here and in Phyongsong, South Phyongan Province on Oct. 12 on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the formation of the Down-with-Imperialism Union. The meetings stressed that the President achieved the cause of building a revolutionary party of new type guiding the popular masses' cause of independence on the basis of the DIU feats and brilliantly embodied the ideal of Juche, the idea of independence and unity and the principles of continued revolution established from the period of the DIU in the rigorous annals of history.

It is a noteworthy feat in human history that Kim Jong Il has firmly defended and glorified the country, revolution and socialism with the might of the unique Songun policy, keeping in mind a firm will to advance the Korean revolution only along the road indicated by the DIU, the meetings said.

The meetings expressed the firm determination of factory workers, trade union members and agricultural working people to perform feats in opening the heyday of Korean-style socialism true to the Songun revolutionary cause of the party in all the fields for the building of a great prosperous powerful nation, rallied closer around Kim Jong Il, holding fast to the traditions of the DIU as their eternal lifeline.

A celebration poem "Shine forever the flag of 'Down-with-Imperialism Union'" was recited at the meetings of factory workers and trade union members.


Russian Ambassador Hosts Reception

Pyongyang, October 13 (KCNA) -- Andrei Karlov, Russian ambassador to the DPRK, hosted a reception at the Taedonggang Club for the Diplomatic Corps on Oct. 12 on the occasion of the 58th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the DPRK and Russia. Present at the reception on invitation were Kung Sok Ung, vice-minister of Foreign Affairs, Jo Jong Ho, vice-minister of Foreign Trade, Hong Son Ok, vice-chairperson of the Korean Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries who is chairperson of the DPRK-Russia Friendship Association, and officials concerned.

On hand were staff members of the Russian embassy.

Speeches were made at the reception.


Fascist Crackdown on Trade Union in S. Korea Flailed

Pyongyang, October 13 (KCNA) -- The south Korean judicial authorities recently let loose the fascist police to close down offices of the "National Government Employees' Union" (NGEU) and took several dozen hardcore members of the union to custody under the cloak of "forcible execution of administrative right," branding the union as an illegal organization and charging it with such "illegal acts" as opposition to south Korea-U.S. joint military exercises. Hitting hard at it as an unpardonable fascist repression trampling upon the freedom of association and right to progressive activities of the south Korean government employees with the use of violence, a Rodong Sinmun analyst Friday says:

The union is an organization of progressive movement formed with upwards of 140,000 government employees to defend their democratic freedom and rights to existence. Their activities can in no case be illegal as they fully meet the demands of the south Korean society and the era.

The fascist crackdown on it by the south Korean authorities cannot be pardoned in any way, being a downright challenge to the desire of the south Korean people for independence and the progressive trend of the times. Such fascist clampdown will only lead them to destruction.

The south Korean authorities should promptly stop the fascist suppression and immediately release the union members under arrest, looking straight into the trend of the times.


Settlement of Japan's Past History Urged in S. Korea

Pyongyang, October 13 (KCNA) -- Members of the Council for Promoting Compensation for the Pacific War Victims, the Council for the Solution of the Issue of the Volunteers' Corps, the south Korean Institute for the Volunteers' Corps and victims of the drafting of "Comfort Women" for the Imperial Japanese Army in south Korea called a press conference near the Japanese embassy in Seoul in demand of the settlement of Japan's past history on Oct. 9 when the Japanese chief executive was making a south Korean trip, according to a media report. The speakers held that the primary issue the Japanese government should resolve was an honest apology for its past crimes and compensation.

They demanded the south Korean "government" force the Japanese government to make an apology and compensation to the Korean nation.

A press release demanding a legal compensation to the victims of the "comfort women" issue, manifestation of Japan's stand on the settlement of its past, renunciation of its militarist ambition and so on was read out at the press conference.

The Citizens' Solidarity for Probing the Truth behind Forcible Drafting under the Occupation of the Japanese Imperialists also called a press conference on the same day and accused Japan of evading its responsibility for the victims of its forcible drafting of Koreans.

The Society of Bereaved Families of the Pacific War Victims in a statement held that Japan should not fail to settle its history woven with crimes against the peoples of different countries, though belatedly, if it truly hopes for peace.


Mural "Cheers of Whole Nation"

Pyongyang, October 13 (KCNA) -- A stream of people are visiting the Monument to President Kim Il Sung's Handwritings from His Address at a Rally to Welcome Him on His Triumphant Return to the Homeland and the mural "Cheers of Whole Nation" standing in the Arch of Triumph Square in Pyongyang. Through the visit, they recollect the immortal feats performed by the President in the liberation of the country. A lot of working people from all strata, youth and students, and nearly 90,000 foreigners and overseas Koreans have visited the place over the last five years.

The monumental edifices, built in Juche 76 (1987), convey the President's revolutionary history of triumphant return to the homeland and reflect the unanimous desire of the Korean people to add brilliance to his revolutionary exploits down through generations.

Engraved in the monument are some parts from his autography address at a rally held in welcome of his triumphal return home. And the mural "Cheers of Whole Nation" reflects on a high ideological and artistic standard the image of the President waving his hand high on the rostrum as a token of his thanks to the cheering crowds.

The President, who had made a triumphant return home after accomplishing the historic cause of national liberation through the 20-year bloody anti-Japanese revolutionary struggle, had an emotion-charged meeting with people at the rally of Pyongyang citizens held on October 14, 1945.

He delivered the historic speech "Every Effort for the Building of a New, Democratic Korea" at the rally.

In the speech, he called upon those with strength to give strength, those with knowledge to give knowledge and those with money to give money to the nation-building work. His speech served as an important guideline in closely rallying the people, the master of the country and the very one in charge of building a rich and powerful, independent and sovereign country, who had groaned as colonial slaves, and in arousing them to the building of a new Korea.

The mosaic mural reflecting the august image of the President built in the open-air is the first of its kind in Korea.


Picture Carved on Stone Discovered in Korea

Pyongyang, October 13 (KCNA) -- Scholars of the Academy of Social Sciences of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the history-related personnel in Kaesong City have discovered a picture carved on stone in a deep valley of Tokjok-ri of Jangphung County. The picture belongs to the period in the middle of the 16th century. It is 2.14 meters high and 0.8 meter wide picture carved on a natural stone 3.8 meters high and 5.2 meters wide.

It was the first time in Korea that such a big picture depicting an individual figure was discovered.

The figure, with ears shorter than those of the Buddha, thick lips and long moustache, wears a hat. He stands barefoot and puts on long Korean full-dress attire with a belt on the waist with his right hand down and left hand bent rightwards.

Along with the stone picture, remains and traces were also found out there. They show that once people lived there.

Porcelains and earthenware pieces were excavated in the vast ground in front of the stone picture and several pieces of roof-tiles belonging to the 16th -17th centuries were also unearthed on the bank of a stream flowing by the stone.

There is a cave near the stone. Its floor is covered with well-trimmed plain rocks and the crack of the ceiling is wedged with a plain rock to prevent rain water from leaking in.

After studying historical documents proving that the place was a base of the Rim Kkok Jong's peasant armed troupe in the middle of the 16th century and the remains discovered there, the History Society and the Archaeological Society of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea presume that the hero of the picture is Rim Kkok Jong, boss of the peasant armed troupe.

The picture carved on the stone, the only historical relic showing the activities of the peasant armed troupe of Korea, is of great significance in the study of the people's history of struggle against feudalism and in the study of the art history.


Russia Offers Food to DPRK

Pyongyang, October 13 (KCNA) -- The food which is to be provided to the DPRK by the Russian government as humanitarian aid material through the WFP has arrived at Nampho Port. A presentation ceremony was held on the spot on Oct. 13.

Present there were officials of the Ministry of Food Procurement and Administration and other officials concerned and the Russian ambassador to the DPRK, the representative of the WFP and officials of the Russian Ministry of Civil Defence, Extraordinary Situation and Elimination of Aftermaths of Natural Calamities staying here.


Pan-African News Wire said...

Letter issued by the United For Peace and Justice Coalition

Dear friends,

North Korea's apparent nuclear test is chilling evidence of how the Bush administration's policy of shunning negotiations has failed. There is no doubt: People in the U.S. and around the world are far less safe than we were five years ago.

If North Korea did test a nuclear explosive device, it is a setback to the global efforts to stop the spread of nuclear arms. It could destabilize northeast Asia, the wider Asian continent, and have negative repercussions around the world. As a supporter of the elimination of nuclear weapons worldwide, starting here at home, United for Peace and Justice views this development with alarm.

But the primary blame for this situation lies with the Bush administration, not North Korea. The nuclear test is a direct reaction to the Bush administration’s policy of shunning negotiations and threatening North Korea with war and regime change.

In 1994 North Korea signed an agreement with the U.S. to suspend its nuclear weapons program and allow international inspections and monitoring of its nuclear facilities. In return, the U.S. agreed to not make military threats against North Korea, to supply fuel oil to replace the lost nuclear power, and to help build two modern atomic power plants.

But beginning in 2002, the Bush administration slowly gutted its part of the agreement. It branded North Korea as part of an “axis of evil,” threatened war, ended the shipments of fuel oil and the construction of nuclear power plants, tightened a long-standing economic embargo, and obstinately refused direct bilateral talks. The White House even threatened the limited use of nuclear weapons in a regional conflict with North Korea. All of this in a context that goes back more than 50 years. The U.S. has refused to sign a peace treaty that world formally end the Korean War and still maintains some 30,000 troops in South Korea.

As the Bush administration geared up to launch war on Iraq -- another country named as part of Bush's "axis of evil" -- North Korean officials had reason to worry that the U.S. might attack their country, too. Predictably, the North Korean government responded by withdrawing from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, expelling atomic energy agency inspectors, and beginning to develop nuclear weapons.

For eight years (1994-2002) direct negotiations with the North Korean government reduced the threat of nuclear proliferation and war on the Korean peninsula. So why are Bush administration officials telling us it’s impossible to negotiate with North Korea?

They, and their neoconservative allies, are calling for sanctions, isolation, and even military threats to impose "regime behavior change." But this is the same recipe that brought us the disastrous Iraq war, and will only deepen North Korea’s resolve to develop nuclear weapons, potentially setting off a new nuclear arms race in the region.

There is only one way to address the current crisis: Direct negotiations with North Korea. The Bush administration must negotiate an agreement providing assurance it will not launch military attacks against North Korea, offering material aid, and taking steps towards normalizing relations in return for a commitment from North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program. As even former Secretary of State James Baker said earlier this week, “It’s not appeasement to talk to your enemies.”

With few exceptions, much of the mainstream media is going along with the White House’s claims that negotiations won’t work. The media played a major role in the run-up to the war in Iraq -- we can’t let them do that again.


Now is the time to get the word into your local media that negotiation, not war, is the answer. Click here to send a letter to the editor of one or more of your local media outlets today.

You may use some of the statements below in your letter, however, it's always best to put things into your own words.

Keep your letter brief; most publications don’t print long letters.

To increase the likelihood of your letter being published, open your letter with a reference to an article previously published in the newspaper you are writing to. Many news outlets will only publish letters that include such a reference.

Suggested Talking Points for Letter to Editor

North Korea's nuclear test makes clear a very harsh reality: The Bush administration's foreign policy strategy has failed. It has made us less safe. North Korea has repeatedly sought direct negotiations to resolve these conflicts, yet the Bush administration refuses. And now North Korea, a nation known for selling weapons technology on the open market, has joined the nuclear club. Perhaps it has learned the one lesson to be gained from the Bush Administration's policy of preemptive war -- that the only way to protect against being invaded is to possess weapons of mass destruction.

As long as the Bush administration maintains policies of preemptive, first-strike war, pursues development of new nuclear weapons, and refuses to re-submit the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty for Senate approval and to abide by its own obligation under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty to disarm, tensions will continue to escalate.

In 1994 North Korea signed an agreement with the U.S. to suspend its nuclearweapons program. For eight years direct negotiations with the North Korean government reduced the threat of nuclear proliferation and war on the Korean peninsula, until the Bush administration began withdrawing from its commitments stipulated by the agreement. So whyare Bush administration officials telling us it´s impossible to negotiate with North Korea?

The Bush administration and its neoconservative allies are calling for sanctions, isolation, and even military threats to impose "regime behavior change." But this is the same recipe that brought us the disastrous Iraq war, and will only deepen North Korea's resolve to develop nuclear weapons.

The endless spiral of death in Iraq -- a war launched on the pursuit of nonexistent "Weapons of Mass Destruction" -- has dangerously destabilized the Middle East. Meanwhile, we continue to sell arms to Pakistan and India, and to ignore the existence of Israel's nuclear arsenal. The U.S. is the biggest nuclear weapons holder and dealer in the world. The first steps toward a safer world must be taken here in the U.S. –- it is time for nuclear disarmament to begin.

Nuclear tests, arms sales, sanctions and threats of preemptive war cannot resolve the political stalemate with North Korea, only returning to direct negotiations will.

The Bush administration should accept new bilateral negotiations with North Korea for a non-aggression pact between our two countries.

See the letter written by Kevin Martin, Executive Director of Peace Action, published in the New York Times, as an example of an effective letter to the editor. More resources on the conflict with North Korea are available on our website.

The Bush administration’s subversion of diplomacy has resulted in a dangerous turn of events. The time to end the madness is now: No Sanctions, No Military Action, No War!

Pan-African News Wire said...

Security Council OKs N. Korea sanctions

By EDITH M. LEDERER, Associated Press Writer

The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously on Saturday to impose punishing sanctions on North Korea including ship searches for banned weapons, calling Pyongyang's claimed nuclear test "a clear threat to international peace and security."

North Korea immediately rejected the resolution, and its U.N. ambassador walked out of the council chamber after accusing its members of a "gangster-like" action which neglects the nuclear threat posed by the United States.

The U.S.-sponsored resolution demands that the reclusive communist nation abandon its nuclear weapons program, and orders all countries to prevent North Korea from importing or exporting any material for weapons of mass destruction or ballistic missiles. It orders nations to freeze assets of people or businesses connected to these programs, and ban the individuals from traveling.

The resolution also calls on all countries to inspect cargo leaving and arriving in North Korea to prevent any illegal trafficking in unconventional weapons or ballistic
missiles. The final draft was softened from language authorizing searches, but was still unacceptable to China — the North's closest ally and largest trading partner — which said it would not carry out any searches.

U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said North Korea's proclaimed test "poses one of the gravest threats to international peace and security that this council has ever had to confront."

"Today, we are sending a strong and clear message to North Korea and other would be proliferators that there will be serious repercussions in continuing to pursue weapons of mass destruction," he said, in what appeared to be a clear warning to Iran whose nuclear ambitions come before the Security Council again next week.

North Korea's U.N. Ambassador Pak Gil Yon countered by blaming the United States for forcing the country to conduct a test because of its "nuclear threat, sanctions and pressure."

"The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is ready for talks, dialogue and confrontation," Pak said. "If the United States increases pressure upon the Democratic People's Republic of Korea persistently, the DPRK will continue to take physical countermeasures considering it as a declaration of war."

North Korea has made similar threats in the past, and has also said it might conduct a second nuclear test in response to U.N. sanctions.

The vote came after the United States, Britain and France overcame last-minute differences with Russia and China during what the Russian ambassador called "tense negotiations."

The resolution demands North Korea eliminate all its nuclear weapons but expressly rules out military action against the country, a demand by the Russians and Chinese. Bolton warned Pyongyang, however, that if it continues pursuing nuclear weapons, the U.S. would seek further measures.

The Security Council condemned the nuclear test that North Korea said it conducted on Oct. 9. It demanded that North Korea immediately return to six-nation talks aimed at persuading Pyongyang to dismantle its weapons program without precondition.

It also imposed sanctions for the North's "flagrant disregard" of the council's appeal not to detonate a nuclear device and demanded that North Korea "not conduct any further nuclear test or launch of a ballistic missile."

"This action by the United Nations, which was swift and tough, says that we are united in our determination to see to it that the Korean peninsula is nuclear-weapons free," President Bush said.

South Korea's Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon, who was chosen on Friday to become the next U.N. secretary-general, said in an interview with The Associated Press that the council's resolution "sends a very strong, clear and unified message to North Korea."

"I hope that North Korea will comply with this resolution," he said. "I hope that all member states of the United Nations will fully implement this resolution."

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Japan was considering additional sanctions against North Korea in line with the resolution, following its move Friday to ban trade with the North and close its ports to North Korean ships.

"We were able to send a strong message that the international community will not tolerate North Korea's owning nuclear weapons," Abe told reporters Sunday.

In a measure aimed at North Korea's tiny elite, the resolution also bans the sale of luxury goods to the country. The North's reclusive leader, Kim Jong Il, is known for his love of cognac and lobster and collection of thousands of bottles of vintage French wine.

To meet Russian and Chinese concerns, the Americans eliminated a complete ban on the sale of conventional weapons. Instead, the resolution limits the embargo to major hardware such as tanks, warships, combat aircraft and missiles.

The council's go-ahead for the inspection of cargo gave broader global scope to the U.S.-led Proliferation Security Initiative launched in 2003 which urges countries to stop banned weapons from suspect countries including North Korea and Iran.

China's U.N. Ambassador Wang Guangya said Beijing allowed the cargo provision to be included in what he called a "watered-down" resolution even though the government is opposed to it.

"China strongly urges the countries concerned to adopt a prudent and responsible attitude in this regard and refrain from taking any provocative steps that may intensify the tensions," he said.

Wang said he did not consider the North Korean ambassador's response the official reply from Pyongyang, which he awaits. "The important thing is not what they say here," Wang said.

The overriding issue, he said, is "how we work together for peace and security in the region."

Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said Moscow got what it wanted — a strong resolution but one that is also aimed at
"prevention of a further escalation of tension."

North Korea's Pak told the Security Council that the nuclear test was not inconsistent with the country's goal of a denuclearized Korean peninsula.

"The DPRK clarified more than once that it would feel no need to possess even a single nuke when it is no longer exposed to the United States' threat, after it has dropped its hostile policy to the DPRK and confidence has been built between the two countries," he said.

Following Pak's speech, Bolton took the floor again saying "I'm not going to waste any of our time responding." But he noted that North Korea had done Saturday exactly what it did in July after the council adopted limited sanctions for its ballistic missile tests — immediately reject the resolution and walk out.

"It is the contemporary equivalent of Nikita Khrushchev pounding his shoe on the desk," Bolton said, referring to the Soviet leader's legendary act of protest at the U.N. General Assembly in 1960.

Bolton later told reporters that the next step is to start work on implementing the resolution.

"Hopefully on saner reflections perhaps they'll begin to accept that if they don't change course, the only future for them is continued isolation," he said.

On Friday, U.S. officials said an air sampling after North Korea's claimed nuclear test detected radioactive debris consistent with an atomic explosion. However, the Bush administration and congressional officials said no final determination had been made about the nature of Monday's mystery-shrouded blast.

The U.S. and other nations trying to persuade the North to give up its atomic program continued a flurry of high-level diplomatic visits, including a trip to Asia by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice meant to present a unified front to North Korea.

The resolution invokes Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter, which the U.S. views as a necessary because it makes economic and diplomatic sanctions mandatory.

China and Russia normally object to the Chapter 7 provision because it carries the possibility of military enforcement. The Bush administration used the same provision to justify its invasion of Iraq, and Moscow and Beijing worry the U.S. might do the same eventually with North Korea — even though Bush has said the U.S. has no plans to attack.

But in a compromise also used in July to unanimously vote on a resolution condemning North Korean missile launches, the text added mention of Article 41 of the chapter, which permits only "means not involving the use of military force."

A Russian nuclear envoy who visited North Korea said Saturday he pressed the North to return to six-nation nuclear disarmament talks. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Alexeyev said he had a "very useful" meeting Friday with Kim Gye Gwan, the North's nuclear negotiator, but did not say how Kim responded.

Pyongyang has boycotted the six-nation talks for the past 13 months to protest financial measures imposed by Washington for alleged counterfeiting and money-laundering.

Associated Press writers Ed Harris at the United Nations, Robert Burns and Anne Gearan in Washington, and Chisaki Watanabe in Tokyo contributed to this report.

Pan-African News Wire said...

S Korea's Ban confirmed as UN chief

Friday 13 October 2006 7:36 PM GMT

Ban is the first Asian to get the post since U Thant in 1961

The UN General Assembly has approved the South Korean foreign minister as the new secretary-general of the world body in the last step that allows him to assume the post on January 1.

Ban Ki-Moon, 62, is the first Asian head of the UN since Burma's U Thant held the post from 1961 to 1971. Asian nations had insisted it was their turn for the job to succeed Kofi Annan, a Ghanaian, who has led the 192-member world body for the past decade.

He will be the eighth secretary-general of the United Nations since 1946.

The 15-member UN Security Council recommended Ban as the next secretary-general to the General Assembly after he comfortably beat six rivals in informal council polls. The General Assembly acclaimed him secretary-general by acclamation for a five-year term.

In remarks to the General Assembly after it approved Ban, Annan described his successor as "a future secretary-general who is exceptionally attuned to the sensitivities of countries and constituencies in every continent."

"A man with a truly global mind at the helm of the world's only universal organisation," he said, adding that he wished Ban strength and courage as he readied to take over the job and to "have fun along the way."

Born to a farming family in 1944 - toward the end of the Japanese occupation of the Korean Peninsula - Ban has moved inexorably up the ranks of the foreign ministry, which he joined in 1970 straight after university where he graduated top of his class in international relations.

He was appointed foreign minister in January 2004.

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