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Ambassador John Bolton Briefing on North Korea (2)

Briefing on North Korea


Ambassador John R. Bolton, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations
Remarks to the media following a Security Council Stakeout
New York City
October 12, 2006


Ambassador Bolton: Good morning. I just have a minute before going into the Council. I will circulate our revised draft resolution, explain the relatively modest number of changes we've made to the Council, and indicate we're prepared to put this revised text in blue this afternoon, as we say here in New York, in preparation for a vote tomorrow.

Reporter: Is this text still negotiable, Ambassador?

Ambassador Bolton: Sure. We're still open to suggestions, but we have believed from the time we first learned of the North Korean explosion that we needed a swift and a strong response. So that's why it's always been our hope to be able to vote by the end of this week.

Reporter: Ambassador, if you don't get the language specifically with regards to interdiction in this resolution, do you believe that the authority already exists under international law to conduct that kind of interdiction?

Ambassador Bolton: I think that under the Statement of Interdiction Principles provided by the Proliferation Security Initiative, we have as much authority as we need. What we want is a Chapter VII resolution that makes that binding on all member states, so that that authority exists not just for those in PSI but for everybody.

Reporter: Mr. Ambassador, the initial Chinese reaction seems to be shying away from such a tough resolution, even with the modifications that were made in the new draft. How important is it for the United States to have a unanimous Security Council resolution? And how important is China's support?

Ambassador Bolton: Well, as I think I've said on several occasions, we would always like the highest number of votes in the Security Council. And we have not given up on our efforts to achieve that. But we've also said that it's important that we send a very clear signal. And we're still trying to persuade China of the -- what I think is the overwhelming sentiment of the other members of the Council to support these provisions.

I might say that one thing I did notice in some articles this morning that seemed to indicate we had dropped away our desire to go after various illicit activities by the North Koreans -- counterfeiting our money, selling drugs through diplomatic channels. Since I know you all have this draft, even though it's not public, I would just refer you again to Paragraph 8D, which talks about going after persons or entities engaged in providing support for, including through other illicit means, DPRK's WMD and ballistic missile programs. The other illicit means being counterfeiting and drug trafficking and the like.

Reporter: Ambassador, when will you move on Iran? We understand that you will wait until you finish with North Korea and then move on Iran. So in your mind, when are you doing this, in what form, and what sort of language are you entertaining or have ready in terms of sanctions?

Ambassador Bolton: Well, I think we will have discussions on Iran even before the adoption of this resolution, but it's a crowded schedule. So I'll just take one more here because I have to go into the Council.

Reporter: (Inaudible) prefer that this resolution only focuses on the nuclear issue and the weapons program. Does this resolution do that, or does it go into other areas?

Ambassador Bolton: It covers other areas as well. I'll take one more.

Reporter: The shorty in the back. How about a 1695 formulation? That was acceptable for missiles, how about for this nuclear resolution.

Ambassador Bolton: I think in the light of the fact North Korea has claimed a test of a nuclear device, we need stronger language.

Released on October 12, 2006

ENDS


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