Monday, December 5, 2016

On N Korea, New Sanctions Pass 15-0, China Against THAAD, US Power Spins Statues

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 30  -- After North Korea conducted its last  nuclear test, the UN Security Council met on September 9 and issued a Press Statement. put online here by InnerCityPro.

  Inner City Press asked South Korea's Ambassador Oh Joon if the THAAD deployment didn't in some sense escalate things. Pressed, Oh Joon said, “China's nuclear deterrence doesn't have anything to do with this issue.”

.Vine here.   
Now on November 30 a new resolution passed 15-0 (full text on Scribd here), after the US election, with the Obama administration and US Power and Mission in lame duck status.

Both China and Russia spoke against the deployment of the THAAD system in South Korea.

Ban Ki-moon came to speak, which he doesn't do on other countries - essentially, video for a run for President of South Korea. US Samantha Power, when she mentioned the ban on monuments sales, cited only Robert Mugabe and Laurent Kabila, not those of other US allies.

It is being presented, at least behind closed door, as a rare late win, like John Kerry has been pursuing on Yemen, and even Aleppo.

  But as specified by NK News, the draft would be “prohibiting member states from buying North Korean made statues. The DPRK has developed a cottage industry building statues in numerous African states, mostly via the Pyongyang-based Mansundae Art Studio. Mansudae’s work can be seen in Cambodia, Angola, Benin, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, and Togo.”

  Several of these have been or will be Security Council members. Second, how can the US with its First Amendment about free expression be promoting a resolution to outlaw (the sale) of art, in this case statues? And what will the Administration's desperation of eleventh hour wins result in? Watch this site.

 Ban scheduled a stakeout press encounter for noon on September 9; the UN noon briefing on all other topics was canceled. Ban, we noted, is coyly running for president of South Korea. That seemed to be the focus.

 Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Stephane Dujarric, even as Ban read his statement, tried to catch the eye of the reporters he wanted to ask questions: what does Ban want the Security Council to do, does he feel disappointed at how little he's accomplished on this North Korea file in his ten years as SG?

  How about Ban's (many) other failures? Given that the first meeting in the afternoon is on Western Sahara, a “frozen” conflict Ban turned hot through distracted sloppiness, Inner City Press asked quite audibly, “On Western Sahara, why do you want the UN to build a road for Morocco?”  Ban did not answer. Vine here. Inner City Press scoop here.

But would Ban answer why he promoted his own son in law to top UN job in Kenya, without recusing himself?

The UN Security Coouncil was in South Sudan, and US President Obama and others in China for the G20 when North Korea conducted its most recent launch. On US Labor Day, with the Council in Ethiopia, a UN Security Council meeting was announced for September 6 at 11:30 am.

After being accompanied as now required by one of Ban Ki-moon's minders, click here, Inner City Press arrived at the UN Security Council stakeout at 11 am. The only Ambassador to make remarks, off UNTV, before the meeting was France's Francois Delattre, who said “ballistic launches by NorthKorea... are a grave challenge to the non-proliferation regime.” Vine here. 

   After the consultations - and a UN noon briefing in which Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Stephane Dujarric once again refused to provide information about Ban's promotion of his own son in law to the top UN job in Kenya and even the costs of Ban's current two week junket - US Ambassador Samantha Power and her Japanese and South Korea counterpart spoke on UNTV.

   The two questions, pointed to by Power's spokesman, were pre-selected; these was no question from South Korean media. One question was whether any Press Statement that comes out will refer to Japan's Exclusive Economic Zone.

After New Zealand as President of the Council for September read out the statement below, right after the Council's short 3 pm meeting on the ICTY, Inner City Press asked if there's been any proposal to refer to Japan's EEZ. But they said they were not taking questions. Vine here.Next time? Watch this site.