Monday, December 5, 2016
On N Korea, US Power Talks Iran & Serbia, Nothing on THAAD Or Ban's Run
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.”
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. But even the word wasn't mentioned in the three questions pre-picked by Samantha Power's spokesman (Reuters, Kyoto, KBS), much less in the answers. More was said of South Korean Ambassador Oh Joon flying to Korea tonight - to work on a Ban Ki-moon presidential campaign? Inner City Press asked, but it was not answered at the end.
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.
Afterward at the stakeout, asked by KBS what chance these new “statue” sanctions have of stopping North Korea, Power made dubious analogies to sanctions not only on Iran but also South Africa and Serbia. It's a problem from hell, including these unfettered journalists who want to ask non pre-picked questions...
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?