Sunday, April 5, 2009

Japan Requests UN Council Meeting Minutes After N. Korea Missile Flies

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis

UNITED NATIONS, April 4 -- Minutes after Tokyo announced that North Korea had, in fact, launched its rocket, Japan's mission to the UN sent the Press this notice:

Today at 22:53, H.E. Mr. Yukio TAKASU, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations requested the President of the Security Council by letter (attached) to convene an urgent meeting of the Security Council to consider the launch by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, under the Council's agenda item entitled "Non-proliferation / Democratic People's
Republic of Korea".

The time and date of the urgent meeting will be communicated later on. Immediately after the meeting, H.E. Mr. Yukio TAKASU will speak at the Security Council's stakeout.

Please note in advance that for any further inquiry by phone or e-mail on the above-mentioned matter, we will not be able to make any comment.
Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations

    Japan's letter is being put online by Inner City Press here.

  A visit by Inner City Press to the UN Security Council found the door locked with a "D" bicycle lock, a food vending machine blinking in the corner. 

UN's Ban and Japan's Takasu, missile and Council reaction not shown

  While word went out of an emergency Council meeting for Sunday morning, there was grumbling about the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon of South Korea. When firstasked about the impending launch by Inner City Press, Ban's spokesperson had no comment

  More recently, when on April 1 Inner City Press asked for comment on North Korea's imprisonment as human shield of two journalists, Ban's spokesperson said it is being monitored, but had no comment:

Inner City Press: Does Ban Ki-moon have any, or does the UN in general, [reaction] to these two journalists that were imprisoned in North Korea and are being, some say held as human shields or whatever, are going to be put on trial.  What’s the UN's response, statement on that?

Spokesperson Michele Montas:  I don’t have a statement at this point.

  And now?

And then came this pre-written response:

Subj: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on DPRK launch

From: unspokesperson-donotreply [at]

Sent: 4/5/2009 12:49:44 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time

Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on the DPRK

The Secretary-General regrets that, against strong international appeal, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) went ahead with its planned launch. Given the volatility in the region, as well as a stalemate in interaction among the concerned parties, such a launch is not conducive to efforts to promote dialogue, regional peace and stability.  The Secretary-General urges DPRK to comply with relevant Security Council resolutions, and all countries concerned to focus on ways to build confidence and restore dialogue, including the early resumption of the Six-Party Talks. The Secretary-General will lend his full support to these efforts.

And see,

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