Event: AAGIAC 003

Security Council President's Preparation: North Korean Nuclear Crisis

Student: Saja Fakral-Deen

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I. Opening Speech

Ladies and gentlemen, honorable delegates…

Welcome to the first ever AAGIAC MUN event. Ambassadors, good morning and welcome to this session of the United Nations Security Council.

Ambassadors, as we sit in this very room right now, the world around us is changing rapidly. While we are discussing the views of our countries, they are constantly shifting, and are rarely fixed on a certain topic, making it almost impossible for us to keep up to date on the true outlooks of our countries. We try as hard as we can to stay updated on new challenges: new bombings, terrorist attacks, and even wars. However, we do tend to stop at some point and think to ourselves: when is this going to stop? Every single day we are forced to reconsider our policy statements because of a new event that occurred within the last hour. It is truly difficult to take into account current events simply because of their rapid rate of occurrence.

Every single one of the countries present today in this very assembly suffers from at least ten different problems, be they political, economical, or social. However, some countries choose to confine their issues within themselves while others choose to force the confinement of issues upon others, and yet even other countries are widely publicizing their issues... This morning, we are going to discuss an issue concerning not only the designated countries, but the entire world, an issue whose exposure is deeply significant to all nations around the globe. One such issue is that of weapons of mass destruction, specifically nuclear weapons.

Nuclear weapons, ladies and gentlemen are not material to be tampered with. The extent of availability of weapons with such capacity for mass destruction should be strongly regulated and confined. Despite all the efforts that so many of our member nations have put into the issue, it is still out at large. It is still waiting for the referee to blow the whistle and declare an end to this brutal game.

There was no referee during World War II, and Hiroshima occurred. There was no referee during Saddam Hussein’s tyrannical reign, and he unleashed chemical weapons on his own people. There was no referee during the first gulf war, and Iraq suffered deeply. And now there is no referee in North Korea, Iran, or Israel, and who knows who the sufferers will be this time.

Ambassadors of the United Nations Security Council, I urge you to succeed in what no other security council before you has ever done, in finding a resolute solution to this grave, critical issue.

Thank you.


II. Introduction to North Korean Nuclear Ambitions,
and the Threats they pose to the World

In 1994, North Korea signed onto an Agreed Framework. By signing, North Korea agreed to abandon nuclear ambitions in return for the construction of two safer light water nuclear power reactors and oil shipments from the US.

On September 17th, 1999, the United States announced a partial lifting of sanctions against North Korea (the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, or DPRK). The move followed intensive discussions between the two sides on nuclear and missile issues, and on the understanding - subsequently confirmed by Pyongyang - that North Korea would refrain from conducting any ballistic missile tests.

However, on a visit to the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, US assistant Secretary of State, James Kelly, pressed the North on suspicions that it is continuing to pursue a nuclear energy and missiles program. Mr. Kelly said he had evidence of a secret uranium-enriching program. If Mr. Kelly’s statement was true, then North Korea would be in defiance of the 1994 Agreed Framework. North Korea was also arguing that the US has not kept to its side of the Agreed Framework, as the construction of the light water reactors – due to be completed this year (2003) – is now years behind schedule.

On the 6th of October, 2002, North Korea admitted in their talks with the United States to a secret nuclear arms program. Ever since then, the world has been in chaos, especially Eastern Asia and the United States. The United States threatened North Korea in every way they knew how; they threatened to cut oil supply and threatened to stop all US aid to North Korea. The tension amplified.

Initially, on October 17th, 2002, the North appeared conciliatory, with leader Kim Jong-Il saying he will allow international inspectors to check the nuclear facilities. However, on the 4th of December, 2002, the North rejected a call to open its nuclear facilities to inspection.

On October 20th, 2002, the North adopt an unsteady stance, at one moment defiantly defending its "right" to weapons development, and at the next offering to halt all nuclear programs in return for aid and the signing of a "non-aggression" pact with the US. The threats were working. On November 18th, 2002, South Korea proclaimed that the US had misunderstood the North Korean statement. The US interpreted North Korea’s "entitled to have" nuclear weapons phrase as "North Korea does have nuclear weapons"... On November 27th, 2002, North Korea accused the US of deliberately misinterpreting its contested statement, twisting an assertion of its "right" to possess nuclear weapons into an "admission" of possession.

On December 11th, 2002, North Korean-made scud missiles were interjected aboard a ship bound for Yemen, the ship was shortly detained by the US. However, the US was later forced to allow the ship to proceed, conceding that neither country was in any kind of violation of international law. The next day, December 12th, 2003, North Korea threatened to reactivate nuclear facilities for energy generation, saying the Americans’ decision to halt oil shipments leaves it with no other choice. North Korea blamed the US for breaking the 1994 pact. The following day, December 13th, 2002 North Korea asked the UN’s international Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to remove all seals and surveillance equipment from its Yongbyon power plant. The North commenced with the elimination of the monitoring devices from the Yongbyon plant on December 22nd, 2002. Two days later, on December 24th, 2002, the North began repairs on the plant.

On December 25th, 2002, it emerged that North Korea had begun shipping fuel rods which could be used to produce plutonium to the Yongbyon plant. The next day, the IAEA expressed its concern in light of the UN confirmation that 1,000 fuel rods had been moved to the Yongbyon reactor. On December 27th, 2002, North Korea said will be expelling the two IAEA nuclear inspectors from the country. It also said that it was planning to reopen a reprocessing plant, which could start producing weapons-grade plutonium within a month.

On January 2nd, 2003, with the dawn of a new year, South Korea started to get more involved in trying to solve the crisis at hand. South Korea asked China to use its influence with North Korea to try to reduce tension over the nuclear issue. Two days later, Russia offered to press Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear program. On January 6th, 2003 the IAEA passed a resolution demanding that North Korea readmit UN inspectors and abandon its secret nuclear weapons program "within weeks", or face possible action by the UN Security Council.

On January 7th, 2003, the US, who is a permanent member in the Security Council, said it was "willing to talk to North Korea about how it meets obligations to the international community". On January 9th, 2003, we see some success with international relations when North Korea agrees to hold cabinet-level talks with South Korea on the 21st of January, 2003. On January 10th, 2003, North Korea announced it will withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). On January 24th, 2003, three days into the cabinet-level talks between North and South Korea, the talks end without making progress.

On January 28th, 2003, in his annual State of the Union address, President George W. Bush said North Korea is "an oppressive regime [whose] people live in fear and starvation".. He accused North Korea of deception over its nuclear ambitions and stated "America and the world will not be blackmailed". On the 29th, 2003, North Korea responded by saying that Mr. Bush’s speech is an "undisguised declaration of aggression to topple the DPRK system," and dubbed him a "shameless charlatan." At the same time, however, it reiterated its demand for bilateral talks on a non-aggression pact.

On January 31st, 2003, unnamed American officials were quoted as saying that spy satellites have tracked movement at the Yongbyon plant throughout January, prompting fears that North Korea is trying to reprocess plutonium for nuclear bombs. On the 5th of February, 2003, North Korea said it has reactivated its nuclear facilities and their operations are now going ahead "on a normal footing". The day before that, February 4th, 2003, the US said it was considering new military deployment in the Pacific Ocean to back up its forces in South Korea, as a restriction against any North Korea aggression. Two days later, on the 6thof February, 2003, North Korea warned the US that any decision to build up its troops in the region could lead the North to make a preemptive attack on American forces.

On February 12th 2003, the IAEA came back into the picture, and finally found North Korea in breach of nuclear safeguards and referred the matter to the UN Security Council. On February 17th, 2003, the US and South Korea announced that they will hold joint military exercises in March. On February 24th, 2003, North Korea fired a missile into the sea between Japan and South Korea.

On the 2nd of March, 2003, North Korean fighter jets intercepted a US reconnaissance (investigation) plane in international air space and shadowed it for 22 minutes. On March 10th, 2003, North Korea fired a second missile into the sea between Japan and South Korea. On the brink of the US-led war against Iraq, on March 22nd, 2003, the North calls off talks with the South on the basis of their "confrontational posture" and the support of their troops to the US.

On April 9th, 2003, the world finally heard something from the Security Council. The SC expressed its concern about North Korea’s nuclear program, but failed to condemn Pyongyang for pulling out of the NPT. On April 12th, 2003, in a surprise move, North Korea signaled it may be ready to end its insistence on direct talks with the US, announcing that "if the US is ready to make a bold switchover in its Korean policy for a settlement of the nuclear issue, [North Korea] will not stick to any particular dialogue format". On April 18th, 2003, North Korea announced that it has started reprocessing its spent fuel rods. The statement is later amended to read that Pyongyang has been "successfully going forward to reprocess" the rods.

On the 23rd of April, 2003, talks begin in Beijing between the US and North Korea hosted by China. The talks are lead by the US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian affairs, James Kelly, and the deputy director general of North Korea’s American Affairs bureau, Li Gun. On April 24th, 2003, American officials said Pyongyang had told them that it is now in possession of nuclear weapons. This took place after the first direct talk for months between the two countries in Beijing, which ended a day earlier than planned. On April 28th, 2003, the US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, said North Korea made an offer to US officials, during the talks in Beijing, to scrap its nuclear program in exchange for major concessions from the US. Mr. Powell did not specify what the concession were, but reports said that Pyongyang wanted normalized relations with the US and economic assistance. Mr. Powell said the US will study the offer. On the 5th of May, 2003, North Korea demanded the US respond to what it terms the "bold proposal" it made during the Beijing talks.

On May 12th, 2003, North Korea said it was scrapping a 1992 agreement with the South to keep the peninsula free from nuclear weapons – Pyongyang’s last remaining international agreement on non-proliferation. On May 15th, 2003, the US and South Korean presidents met in Washington to discuss how to handle North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.

On June 2nd, 2003, a delegation of US congressman, led by Curt Weldon, said North Korean officials admitted the country had nuclear weapons, and "had just about completed" reprocessing 8,000 spent fuel rods which would allow it to build more weapons. On June 9th, 2003, North Korea publicly announced that it will build a nuclear deterrent, "unless the US gives up its hostile policy". On June 13th, 2003, South Korea’s News Agency (Yonhap), said North Korean officials told the US on June 30th, 2003, that it had completed reprocessing the fuel rods. On June 18th, 2003, North Korea said it will "put further spurs to increasing its nuclear deterrent force for self-defense". They made the same statement a week ago, in November, 2003, to which Colin Powell’s reaction was "Well, they said they’ve done it, now, four different times…"

On July 9th, 2003, South Korea’s spy agency, said North Korea had started reprocessing a "small number" of the 8,000 spent nuclear fuel rods at Yongbyon. On the 1st of August, 2003, North Korea agreed to six-way talks, confirmed South Korea. The US, Japan, China and Russia were also involved. In the short period between August 27th and 29th, 2003, the six-nation talks in Beijing on North Korea’s nuclear program took place. The meeting failed to bridge the gap between Washington and Pyongyang, but the delegates agreed to meet again in hopes of better results in the future. North Korea, however declared the talks were not only "useless, but harmful in every aspect". On October 2nd, 2003, North Korea publicly announces it had successfully reprocessed the spent fuel rods.

Russia and China have the closest access to leaders of the hermetic Stalinist state and the Beijing meeting will serve as the first time Moscow is represented at such multilateral talks. Both Russia and China have offered to issue an official security guarantee to North Korea -- something the United States refuses to do in a formal pact. Following is an original copy of the overview and evaluation of the six-party talks mentioned earlier. This evaluation was presented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.



III. Six-Party Talks on North Korean Issues
(Overview and Evaluation)

A. Schedule:

(1) Date: August 27-29

Place: Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, Beijing

(2) Proceedings
(a) August 27: Opening ceremony, plenary meeting, bilateral meetings
(b) August 28: Plenary meeting
(c) August 29: Closing ceremony

(3) Heads of delegation
Japan: Ambassador Mitoji Yabunaka
USA: Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly
ROK: Deputy Foreign Minister Lee Soo-hyuck
China: Vice Foreign Minister Wang Yi
Russia: Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov
North Korea: Vice Foreign Minister Kim Yong Il


B. Japan's Position Expressed at the Six-Party Talks

(1) regarding the nuclear weapons development issue, North Korea must immediately dismantle all its nuclear weapons development programs in a complete, irreversible, and verifiable manner.

(2) No country, including the United States, has a hostile policy toward North Korea. If however North Korea insists that they continue to hold security concern Japan is ready to consider it in the process of the six-party talks on the premise that North Korea properly dismantles its nuclear development program.

(3) Japan also referred to the issues of North Korea ballistic missile program and its biological and chemical weapons.

(4) If North Korea takes concrete measures toward the dismantlement of its nuclear development program, it will be possible at an appropriate time to deepen discussions on energy support for North Korea.

(5) There is no change in Japan's basic positions of settling outstanding issues of concern based on the Japan-North Korea Pyongyang Declaration and normalizing relations in a manner that would contribute to the peace and stability of the Northeast Asia region. The nuclear problem, the missile problem, and the abduction issue must be solved before the normalization of the relations between Japan and North Korea. Japan will provide economic cooperation to North Korea only after the normalization of the relations between Japan and North Korea is achieved. The abduction issue must be solved through concrete discussions between Japan and North Korea. Solution of the abduction issue is essential for reaching a comprehensive solution of the problem.


C. Host Country Summary by Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wang Yi

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wang Yi made the following points at a press conference to summarize the plenary meetings:

(1) The participants in the six-party talks agreed to solve the nuclear problem peacefully through dialogue, to maintain peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, and to pave the way for permanent peace.

(2) The participants in the six-party talks called for a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula and shared the view that North Korea's reasonable concern over its security must be considered and resolved.

(3) The participants in the six-party talks agreed to seek a fair and realistic resolution in a manner that is phased and synchronized or parallel in implementation.

(4) The participants in the six-party talks agreed not to take actions that could escalate the situation in the process of resolving the issue peacefully.

(5) The participants in the six-party talks agreed to build mutual confidence, narrow the differences in opinions, and expand their common views through dialogue.

(6) The participants in the six-party talks agreed to continue the process of the six-party talks and to decide as soon as possible through diplomatic routes the place and time of the next meeting.


D. Contact between Japan and North Korea Contact on August 28

(1) the two delegations discussed the abduction issue and the nuclear problem. Regarding the abduction issue, the Japanese side strongly called for the return to Japan of the families of abduction victims and full investigation of the issue.

(2) In return the North Korean side repeated its previous statements that, for example, Japan has broken its promise.


E. Contact on August 29

(1) Statements by the head of the North Korean delegation, Vice-Minister Kim: (a) There is a firm basis between Japan and North Korea in the form of the Pyongyang Declaration.
(b) Bilateral problems between Japan and North Korea, including the abduction issue, should be resolved one by one in line with the Pyongyang Declaration.
(c) It is important for both Japan and North Korea to implement the Pyongyang Declaration.

(2) Statements by the head of the Japanese delegation, Ambassador Yabunaka:
(a) Japan also intends to implement the Pyongyang Declaration.
(b) Regarding the resolution of the abduction issue, and in particular the return to Japan of the families of abduction victims, Japan calls on North Korea to demonstrate a constructive response to the issue so that the humanitarian problem such as this could be solved quickly.
(c) Japan wants to continue discussions so as to solve the problems between Japan and North Korea. (In response, the North Korean delegation said that it wanted to dos the same.)


F. Evaluation

1. It was very significant that the six parties that have an interest in the nuclear problem and problems that exert a serious impact on the peace and stability of the region were able to gather together and hold serious discussions.

2. Japan also clearly relayed to the North Korean side the importance of solving not only the nuclear problem but also the abduction issue and the missile problem.

3. The process of the six-party talks is extremely important, and the continuation of this process is essential for the peaceful and diplomatic solution of North Korea's nuclear development problem. It is necessary to hold the next meeting as soon as possible and to make further progress toward a solution.

4. It is necessary to create an opportunity for discussions between Japan and North Korea as quickly as possible.



II. A Summary of the Positions of the Six Main Nations

A. Japan

Japan has long, somewhat tragic relations with North Korea starting with Japan's invasion of Korea in 1905 which only ended with the Second World War. Under the Japanese, an attempt was made to "Japanize" the Korea and extinguish their nationality and make them Japanese. During the empire days, a number of Koreans immigrated to Japan. They remain in Japan as the largest and somewhat oppressed minority. This past has come back to haunt Japan. These Koreans in Japan are one of the main sources of survival for the North Koreans as they send hard currency to their starving relatives, and, in the sixties, the North Koreans (in a project personally overseen by present leader Kim Il-Song) kidnapped Japanese national to train North Koreans to spy for the North Koreans. Now, North Korea sees Japan as an important source of aid. In developing nuclear weapons and delivery missiles which, significantly, it always fires towards Japan, its message is obvious. If you don't give us money, we'll use our weapons on you.

This poses a very difficult problem for Japan. On the one hand, it would love to stop playing blackmail by cutting off aid to North Korea and cutting off the remittances. However, to do this would require that Japan either (a) rearm itself or (b) upgrade its conventional army and aid the neighbors in overthrowing the North Koreans. These alternatives would call the world's attention, uncomfortably, to Japan and its brutal colonial history. Japan, nuclear armed, would become the object of fear instead of North Korea! Ideally, Japan would like someone other than itself (i.e. the US) to relieve it of its problems.


B. South Korea

North Korean – South Korean relations have always been hostile to a certain degree. However, South Korea has fully attempted to reduce the hostility, especially during recent events. North Korea has also cooperated, and the two countries have held talks between themselves. Despite the failure of these talks, the two countries have not given up yet. Tensions rose once again, after South Korea declared its collaboration with the US on military grounds.

South Korea is innocently afraid of its Northern neighbor. The South is aware of the level of unstableness that already exists in Pyongyang. If you add nuclear weapons, the level will reach sky high, and the South is afraid of being harmed.


C. Russia

Russian foreign minister, Igor Ivanov, pointed to the dynamic development between Russia and North Korea since the signing of the fundamental treaty on friendship and cooperation between the two countries. The Russian and North Korean presidents have always been on friendly grounds. As part of President Vladimir Putin's determination to keep Russia a major player, the Kremlin is emerging as a key force in trying to coax volatile North Korea to the negotiating table. Last week, Russian diplomats in Moscow met with envoys from both North and South Korea in an attempt to lay ground for the approaching six-way talks aimed at defusing the North's standoff with the United States over its nuclear program. In a separate statement, though, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov said that Russia and China might offer North Korea security guarantees as part of an overall settlement "if guarantees established by the United States fail to meet North Korea's expectations to the full."

Russia, which shares a 10-mile border with North Korea not far from the major Pacific port of Vladivostok, has repeatedly said that it wants a nuclear-free Korean peninsula. The Kremlin believes that security guarantees for Pyongyang could solve the current crisis. History shows that the Soviet Union was responsible for the nuclear genie migrating to North Korea in the first place. The Soviets began training North Korean scientists in nuclear research in 1956 and built the North's Yongbyon nuclear plant nine years later. Today, however, the Russian government sees things differently. Any military action on the Korean peninsula that might involve nuclear weapons terrifies Moscow, since nuclear fallout in Russia's Far East would most likely cost hundreds of thousands of lives. Russia is concerned about its own safety, the safety of its citizens," said Vadim Tkachenko, an analyst with the Russian Academy of Sciences' Center for Korean Studies. "We are interested in a nuclear-free Korean peninsula, because that region is extremely combustible and will continue to be so for some time."

Russia wants to emerge as a super power from this conflict. It wants to build a sturdy threshold in the South Eastern Asia region onto which it can assemble stronger and stronger relationships with the countries in that region. Russia has economic interests in the region and believes that the stronger the political ties, the higher the economic interest.


D. North Korea

North Korea believes that the US has not kept up the standards required of it due to the signing of the 1994 Agreed Framework, which was signed by both sides in hope of increasing trade talks between the two countries, and increasing US aid to North Korea. The US is also supposed to provide two safer light water nuclear power reactors and oil shipments to North Korea. The Framework also works on building US-North Korean relations. North Korea believes that the talks proposed by the US are pointless and unnecessary. However, it is seeking to sign a non-aggression pact with the United States.

Out of all of this commotion, North Korea simply wants to get more aid, whether it’s from the US or any other country. It simply wants more aid. It also wants to make itself a regional power. It wants to feel authoritative over neighboring countries. Pyongyang believes that obtaining nuclear weapon is what will help them reach that goal.


E. The United States

The US believes that North Korea is not keeping up to its end of the 1994 Agreed Framework, which, by signing, North Korea has agreed to abandon all nuclear ambitions. A promise the US feels North Korea has not fulfilled.

After several months of intense discussion with its friends and allies and among the experts both in and outside of the U.S. government, the Administration concluded its policy review in early June. The President's statement of June 6 clearly laid out the Administration's approach: the US is seeking serious discussions with North Korea on a broad agenda that includes missile, nuclear, and conventional force issues and humanitarian concerns. The US has adopted a comprehensive approach that they believe will further their basic goals of North-South reconciliation, peace on the Korean Peninsula, a constructive U.S.-North Korea relationship, increased regional stability, and a better way forward for the people of North Korea. They were guided in the US review by several principles. First among them was to place a priority on their alliances and focus on supporting progress in North-South reconciliation. If the DPRK takes serious steps to improve relations with the United States, the US are prepared to expand their efforts to help the North Korean people, ease sanctions, and take other political steps. As stated by Charles L. Pritchard, Special Envoy for Korean Peace Talks, U.S.representative to the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization, U.S. Department of State.

The US is simply in on all of this to emerge as the peace keeper. It wants to emerge as the protector of all nations and the guardian of the world. It also aims at proving its strong will to rid the world of weapons of mass destruction.


F. China

China said it had few expectations from the six-way talks on Washington's nuclear standoff with Pyongyang because North Korea's position was too unpredictable. "You have just asked me what position North Korea will take during these talks," Zhao Qizheng, China's minister of the State Council Information Office, told reporters through a Russian interpreter. "I would not dare answer that question because you know that it is not a good thing to forecast such matters because they (the North Koreans) are unpredictable," Zhao said. Zhao said the issue has been continually discussed between US and Chinese officials in recent days. Asked how China plans to bridge the security divide between Pyongyang and Washington, Zhao answered: "We have on several occasions informed the United States about how concerned North Korea is about a security guarantee." Since both the United States and North Korea are keeping to their own points of view, the only thing that we can do is watch how they behave during these talks," he admitted. China hosted the first meeting, believing that it will be the ideal meeting place, where hostilities are minimal.

There have been recent media reports that China has begun cracking down on North Korean migrants in China, sending larger numbers of them back into the DPRK. Many North Koreans temporarily cross into China to find work or food and then return to North Korea. The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (''UNHCR'') and several nongovernmental organizations are assisting these people, most often by giving them food, and we support those efforts. Because the People's Republic of China does not allow the UNHCR access to the border areas, the UNHCR is unable to confirm reports of increased PRC deportations of North Koreans, which reportedly result from the PRC's ''Strike-Hard'' anti-crime campaign. However, UNHCR believes that the reports are credible. Although the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is a signatory to the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees, it also has a bilateral agreement with the DPRK to return individuals who cross the border illegally. Pressing the PRC on this issue may not improve the situation; some analysis suggests that greater attention to this problem could lead China to impose more stringent controls.

China, like Russia also wants to emerge as a super power, and as a country which played a big role in solving the issue. And China, like North Korea, wants to emerge as a regional power, except PRC is seeking their goal through other means. They are taking advantage of the situation, to achieve their goal. China also wants to solve the problem so it can solve another problem branching out of it, that of the refugees. China is already suffering as an over-populated country, it cannot afford to accept any more people simply due to the lack of places to accommodate them and infrastructure to support and serve them.