North Korea again asked U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday to organize an international forum of legal experts to clarify the legality of increasingly tough Security Council sanctions, which it says are erasing its people’s “right of existence.”
A press statement from North Korea’s U.N. Mission said the intensified sanctions resolutions spurred by the United States and its followers are imposing a “blockade” and violate the country’s sovereignty and international law.
The mission accused the Security Council of “uncivilized behavior” by trying to bring North Korean society back “to the old history of medium darkness,” and “by totally denying the rights of existence and development of our people and destroying whole civilized culture.”
North Korea first asked the U.N. Secretariat, which Guterres heads, to organize a legal forum a year ago and it says it sent five letters to the secretary-general and met with him and the U.N. political and legal chiefs.
But the mission said the request was rejected on grounds that the Security Council is authorized by the U.N. Charter to determine what constitutes a threat to international peace and security.
The council has determined that North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests, which have become increasingly sophisticated, constitute such a threat. In response, it has imposed increasingly harsh sanctions that now bar over 90 percent of the country’s exports and most imports.
But U.N. experts monitoring sanctions said in a recent report that North Korea is flouting U.N. sanctions on oil and gas, engaging in prohibited ballistic missile cooperation with Syria and Myanmar, and illegally exporting commodities that brought in nearly $200 million in just nine months last year. Pyongyang is also still able to access the global financial system through “deceptive practices combined with critical deficiencies in the implementation of financial sanctions,” they said.
The mission’s statement on Monday, accusing the U.S. and the Security Council of “barbarous state-sponsored terrorism,” says an international forum including “all government and non-government-level lawyers and international legal organizations” could be the right place to clarify the legality of the sanctions resolutions.
As carried in ABC