AUSTRALIA LEAPS IN AND OFFERS 'TRADE BLOCKADE'
RUSSIA SET CONDITIONS FOR SANCTIONS REGIME, US FORCED TO COMPLY
WAR ON NORTH KOREA AND IRAN RULED OUT BY COALITION OF WORLD POWERS
The Bush administration is trying to ramp up the benefits of the UN Security Council resolution against North Korea, which has invoked sanctions against luxury goods, nuclear weapons technology and general weapons system technology being imported into the Stalinist regime.
But while the US ambassador to the UN, John Bolten, and President Bush have managed to spin the sanctions as being "tough" and "targetted", media across China, Russia and the EU have claimed Russia and China won the stand-off over North Korea with the US.
China and Russia allowed a certain number of sanctions through, while refusing to commit to military objectives should North Korea go forward with other tests of their nuclear weapons.
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 Sydney Morning Herald reports that Australian warships are likely to join any internationally sanctioned blockade of North Korea.
John Howard revealed Australia would be willing to join the US in blockading North Korea, after a phone coversation with President Bush.
North Korea has said it will view any attempts to block its sea trade as an act of war, to which it intends to respond.
"If there were, for example, some kind of trade embargo sanctioned by the Security Council under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, then it would be reasonable for Australia to participate along with a lot of other countries in enforcing those sanctions," he said.
Mr Howard said the suspected nuclear test carried out in North Korea this week was "a little humiliating for China" because it was the one country regarded as capable of reining in Pyongyang.
As China and Russian officials come forward to comment on the sanctions, it becomes clear that the US had been forced to accept a watered down version of the sanctions list they wanted. Not only did China and Russia refuse to allow wording to include the threat of military action, they've also placed a time limit on how long the sanctions can last.
Any sanctions approved by the UN Security Council against North Korea should not even hint at the use of force and should be for a limited period, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov said Saturday.
“Sanctions should not carry even a hint at any kind of forceful methods and should not be aimed against the North Korean people,” Ivanov was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying after a meeting with Chinese State Councillor Tang Jiaxuan.The US military staged exercises at an airbase in South Korea yesterday, revealing it has batteries of Patriot missiles already aimed at key targets inside North Korea.
“We and China share the view that means of political pressure via the UN Security Council cannot be for an unlimited period, so in the event of a return by North Korea to six-party talks and progress in those talks, sanctions, if they are adopted, should automatically be cancelled,” Ivanov said.
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