US Advises Patience on N. Korea Missile Diplomacy at UN
By David Gollust
The State Department
07 April 2009

The Obama administration is advising patience in efforts to develop a unified response in the U.N. Security Council to North Korea's test of a long-range ballistic missile on Sunday. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had telephone discussions on the issue Tuesday with her Russian and Chinese counterparts. 

Officials here said the fact that three days have elapsed without a U.N. Security Council condemnation of North Korea for its missile test does not represent a failure of U.S. diplomacy. They said the Obama administration's emphasis is on an appropriate - rather than speedy - response.

The Security Council convened on Sunday, within hours of the North Korean test, which the United States says violated a 2006 Security Council resolution and should not go unpunished.

But the full council has not reconvened for action, amid reports that Russia, China and some other members of the 15-nation panel are resisting calls for tightening sanctions on North Korea.

At a State Department press event with New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully, Secretary Clinton advised patience on the issue, saying that while 72 hours without action may seem like a long time for television news, it is not a long time in international relations or in the affairs of the Security Council.

State Department Acting Spokesman Robert Wood sounded a similar theme, saying that the United States is seeking a proper response on a complicated matter.

"This is not something you can expect that's going to be solved immediately. This is going to take a little time. This is an important issue. We want to make sure we get it right. We want to have the right response to what the North has done. So we're going to continue to work very hard on this track. But you need to understand and have some patience with this process," he said.

Wood said Clinton had spoken by telephone with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, apparently in pursuit of a compromise in the Security Council.

U.S. officials have signaled flexibility, saying that a new council resolution or a consensus policy statement would be a proper outcome, provided it contained sufficiently strong language condemning Pyongyang's actions.

The United States, Japan and South Korea said the launch of the three-stage missile was a clear violation of Security Council resolution 1718, which was adopted unanimously in 2006 after North Korea's underground nuclear explosion. It demanded an end to Pyongyang's nuclear and missile tests.

North Korea said the launch was an attempt to put a satellite into orbit. China has suggested that North Korea is entitled to do so as a peaceful act of space exploration.

U.S. officials said the launch, under whatever guise, violated the Security Council resolution. The U.S. military said no part of the rocket, which traveled more than 3,000 kilometers, reached orbit despite Pyongyang's claims to the contrary.

Japanese Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone said the credibility and authority of the Security Council will be undermined if it fails to respond to the North Korean violation.

美吁耐心争取安理会对北韩作反应

美国政府呼吁大家保持耐心,争取在联合国安理会内形成对北韩星期天试射远程弹道导弹的一致反应。美国国务卿希拉里.克林顿星期二和她的俄罗斯及中国同僚进行了电话讨论。

*重好不重快*

美国官员说,在北韩发射导弹3天之后,联合国安理会还没有对此进行谴责,这并不意味着美国的外交策略失败。他们说,美国政府强调要作出适当的反应,而不是迅速的反应。

安理会星期天在北韩发射导弹之后几个小时内开会。美国说,试射导弹违反了安理会2006年的决议,应该予以惩罚。但是由于俄罗斯、中国及安理会15个成员国里的其它一些国家对于加紧对北韩制裁的呼吁采取抗拒的态度,因此安理会并没有再次举行全体会议讨论制裁问题。

美国国务卿希拉里.克林顿在美国国务院一次与新西兰外长玛瑞·玛克利共同举行的记者会上呼吁大家对这个问题保持耐心。她说,虽然已经过了72小时没有行动,对于电视新闻而言看起来好像已经过了一段很长的时间,不过对于国际关系或安理会的事务而言,这段时间并不算长。

美国国务院代理发言人伍德的话听起来也是这个意思。他说,美国正在争取对一件复杂的事情作出适度的反应。

他说:“这不是一件能够预期立即解决的事情。需要一些时间。这是一个重要问题。我们要确保我们正确应对。我们要对北韩的做法作出正确的反应,所以我们要继续在这个方向上努力。不过你们必须对此有所理解,对这个过程有一些耐心。”

*同中俄磋商*

伍德说,希拉里.克林顿已经同俄罗斯外长拉夫罗夫以及中国外长杨洁篪通过电话,这显然是想要在安理会内找出一个折衷的办法。

美国官员暗示这个问题可以有弹性说,一个新的安理会决议,或者是一个有共识的政策声明都算是适当的结果,不过前提是必须含有足够强烈的措辞谴责平壤的行动。

美国、日本及韩国说,发射这个导弹明显违反了安理会第1718号决议,这个决议在北韩进行地下核试验之后于2006年在安理会中一致通过。决议要求平壤终止核试验及导弹试验。

*事关安理会尊严*

北韩说这次发射是要将一个卫星送入轨道。中国表示,北韩有权进行和平太空探索活动。

美国官员说,无论以任何借口作为掩护,这次发射都违反了安理会决议。美国军方说,这个飞行了3000多公里的火箭没有任何一个部分进入太空轨道,尽管北韩的说法正好相反。

日本外相中曾根弘文说,如果安理会无法对北韩违反决议作出反应,它的可信度及权威都会被削弱。