PN's Voice 74

Peace Network Korea
PN's Voice 74, 03-03-2016
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PN's Voice No. 74   03. 03. 2016 
Small steps, Road to peace

UN Slaps “Toughest Sanctions Yet” on NK

The UN Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution that significantly expands existing sanctions against North Korea, in response to the country's recent nuclear test and rocket launch. Wednesday's resolution was voted after being thoroughly negotiated by Washington and Beijing, the closest ally of the Pyongyang government. US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power said the new sanctions on North Korea go further than any UN sanctions regime in two decades, and are aimed at cutting off funds for its nuclear and other banned weapons programmes.

"Our collective security demands that we stop North Korea from continuing along this destructive and destabilising course," Power said. "Yet, we've got to be honest, that while previous multilateral efforts, including the four previous sanctions resolutions adopted by this Council, have undoubtedly made it more difficult for North Korea to advance its weapons programmes, the regime continues to plough ahead as it demonstrated the last two months. That is why the resolution we have just adopted is so much tougher than any prior North Korea resolution."

Experts deciphering the new sanctions says that the latest sanctions are trying to deal with some of the loopholes North Korea has used in the past, as well as targeting key individuals.
China, as North Korea’s only ally, is often seen as being an obstacle in dealing with the isolated nation. However, Chinese media show that China believes the latest sanctions are a necessary measure against Pyongyang’s expanding nuclear program.
Source : Aljazeera, Voice of America, Yonhap News

After UN Resolution, Seoul Focuses on NK Human Rights

South Korea has stepped up efforts to address North Korea's abysmal human rights record in conjunction with a new U.N. Security Council (UNSC) resolution on sanctions against Pyongyang in response to its nuclear and missile tests. On Wednesday, Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se delivered a keynote speech during a visit of the U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session in Geneva, Switzerland.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the purpose of Yun's UNHRC visit was to raise global awareness of Pyongyang's state-perpetrated crimes against humanity, including forced labor of tens of thousands North Korean workers abroad. Up to 220,000 people are also thought to be detained, tortured and executed at political prison camps in North Korea while others outside the camps are starved to death.

In addition to Foreign Minister Yun’s efforts to turn the international spotlight on North Korea’s human rights record, the South Korean parliament did their bit domestically by passing the North Korean Human Rights Act. The National Assembly approved the bill eleven years after it was first introduced. Under the new act the task of improving North Korean human rights seemingly taking a slight priority over enhancing inter-Korean ties and establishing peace on the peninsula. The law also calls for opening a center on the North's human rights records at the Unification Ministry to collect and document information on the human rights violations and transfer the data to the Justice Ministry every three months.
Source : The Korea Times, KBS News

North Korea Fires Missiles into Sea after Fresh UN Sanctions

North Korea fired several short-range projectiles into the sea off its east coast Thursday, just hours after the United Nations slapped sanctions on Pyongyang for its recent nuclear test and long-range rocket launch, South Korea’s Defense Ministry said. The North’s launches also come shortly after Seoul approved its first legislation on human rights in North Korea.

Defense spokesman Moon Sang Gyun said the projectiles were fired from the eastern coastal town of Wonsan, adding authorities were trying to determine what exactly North Korea fired. The projectiles could be missiles, artillery or rockets, according to the Defense Ministry.

North Korea has a history of firing weapons from its prodigious arsenal when angered at international condemnation.
Source : The Guardian, The Washington Post, The New York Times


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