Nuclear threats and human rights in North Korea: - extracts from the debate

Type: News   Reference: 92812   Duration: 00:04:21  Lieu: Strasbourg, France - European Parliament
End production: 13/03/2013   First transmission: 13/03/2013
MEPs have met EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. MEPs have analyzed the threat posed by North Korea's nuclear programme, following the test staged in February, as well as its human rights record. North Korea's regime warned last Friday that it could carry out a preventive nuclear attack against the United States and South Korea. This threat was the answer to the tough new sanctions approved last Thursday by the Security Council of the UN against the country, some of the toughest sanctions ever imposed by the UN Security Council. Pyongyang broke on Friday all non-aggression pacts with South Korea, cancelled the direct lines of communication with Seoul and renewed its threats. UN sanctions were the response to the nuclear test conducted by North Korea last month. The North Korean army carried out a nuclear test last February 12th. This was the third and most powerful underground nuclear test in its history, despite warnings from the international community. Pyongyang argued that this nuclear test was the response to the United States' "hostility".

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00:00:00 SOUNDBITE (English) Catherine ASHTON, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy for the European Union "After the most recent events, we have prepared new measures, in line with the Security Council resolutions: a ban on key-components for the ballistic missile sector, trade on conventional arms and some financial transactions by the North Korea Central Bank and other Government bodies. We remain determined to take action in response to new provocations, the latest of which is Korea unilateral declaration that the 1953 armistice is invalid, and leader Kim Jong Un threat to wipe out a small Korean island as a priority target in the event of military conflict. Honorable Members, this sort of provocation is totally unacceptable, and this is precisely the reason why the 18th of February Foreign Affair Council adopted a new package of restrictive measures which further reinforce the measures adopted by the Security Council on the 22nd of January." 00:00:56
00:00:56 SOUNDBITE (English) Catherine ASHTON, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy for the European Union "Meanwhile, we provided assistance to North Korean people on purely humanitarian ground. In 2011 we provided 10 million euros to respond to urgent food needs, channelled through the World Food Programme. This assistance was directed to the most vulnerable people, to improve the feeding of children under five in orphanages, pregnant women, elder and disabled people. We will continue to assist the UN in its efforts to keep the international community united : this is the only way we can uphold the non-proliferation regime and support the people in North Korea." 00:00:37
00:01:33 SOUNDBITE (German) Elmar BROK (EPP, DE) English translation : "A country that at the same time is aggressive and developing nuclear arms against the rules and testing them as well as working on a long-distance rocket programme, this is of course a serious alarm. We have also the 1953 armistice agreement that has been declared invalid. All the contacts we have in conflict situations have been removed, so there is no communication. We've seen that troops have been gathered so the question is, are those imminent dangers ? It's a situation we've never seen elsewhere in recent years." 00:00:45
00:02:18 SOUNDBITE (Portuguese) Ana GOMES (S&D, PT) English translation : "North Korean Leadership can be feodal or lunatic, but I think they live in this world, and they cannot continue in this provocative way, because they ultimately depend on the economic support of China. China is a permanent Member of the Security Council of the UN and therefore has special obligations towards peace keeping in the world. China has to begin to monitor its back yard, it cannot continue to refuse to adopt resolutions against Pyongyang and on the other hand ask for sanctions when there are violations of its common border with North Korea. This is irresponsible behaviour. Only China can bring back North Korea to reason." 00:00:48
00:03:06 SOUNDBITE (English) JELKO KACIN (ALDE, SL) "There is oppression and torture of North Korea's own citizens on a feeble pretext of an external threat for the country. No one poses any kind of threat, military or political, to North Korea state, economy or citizens, apart from their own regime. The new dictator from the Kim dynasty is testing every neighbour nerves also the largest trade partner and ally, China. Enough is enough, and the Security Council of the UN is unanimous. It may well be that Kim Jong Un wants political reforms, economical development and perhaps even a better standard for his citizens, but this display of military muscles and propaganda war is a poker game that is simply too dangerous.'" 00:00:50
00:03:56 SOUNDBITE (German) Helmut SCHOLZ (GUE/NGL, DE) English translation : "The Parliament needs to make it quite clear that there is no right to a preventative strike using nuclear weapons. That right does not exist in national laws and certainly not in international laws, and that applies to all countries in the world. " 00:00:17
00:04:13 CUTAWAYS : 2 shots 00:00:08
00:04:21 END 00:00:00
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