MARCH 12, 2013

NR # 3041B

Lawmakers back move of PH welcoming UN sanctions on NoKor
House members today welcomed the support of the Philippines over the adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2094 on March 7, 2013 imposing sanctions on North Korea in response to the third nuclear test it conducted last Feb. 12. Earlier, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) instructed the Philippine Embassy in Seoul to intensify efforts with Filipino community organizations to prepare contingency plans. There are eight Filipinos working in the reclusive country of North Korea. Four working for the United Nations, some of them employed under the World Food Program while the other four are employed by a British tobacco company that operates a factory in Pyongyang. Rep. Angelo Palmones (Party-list, Agham) said the UN resolution would ensure peace in the East Asian countries. Palmones said North Korea’s increasing efforts to strengthen its war chest demands vigilance among Asian countries. Palmones said NoKor is a hermit government but does not think they will turn adverse to Filipinos doing humanitarian work in the country. “Their expertise and services in North Korea are a necessity,” he said. Rep. Marcelino Teodoro (1st District, Marikina City) said North Korean nuclear testing is an irresponsible act for a member of the UN. “It poses a threat to the national security of its neighboring countries, including the Philippines,” he said. “The Philippines’ stand in opposition to such acts of aggression is justified. However, the government must also be keen on the possible plight of Filipinos living in North Korea with the staunch admonition of our government against North Korea,” Teodoro said. Teodoro urged the Aquino administration to be ready with pre-emptive measures that will aid the Filipino community. “There is a great possibility that the North Korean government may be provoked by the sanction imposed on them, which may cause grievous consequences for Filipinos living within it confines,” Teodoro underscored. Rep. Winston Castelo (2nd District, Quezon City) said the move of the United Nations (UN) would ensure peace in the East Asian Region. “With this sanction, North Korea will evidently know the sentiments of the world community brought about by its nuclear tests,” Castelo said.

Resolution 2094 is the fifth UNSCR against North Korea since 2006 for the country’s nuclear and ballistic missile activities in violation of previous Security Council resolutions 1695, 1718, 1874, and 2087. According to Susan E. Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Resolution 2094 is designed to significantly impede North Korea's ability to develop further its illicit nuclear and ballistic missile programs, as well as its proliferation activities. Rice further stated that one major aspect of the new resolution is that it has tightened financial sanctions by making some of the existing measures mandatory. Under the new resolution, 193 member states are now required to “freeze or block” any financial transactions or monetary transfers if such activities are deemed to help North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs. The resolution also prohibits financial support for trade with North Korea that could assist in its illicit programs. The new financial measures are aimed at cracking down on bulk cash transfers and also on restricting the financial network of North Korean banks involved in the country’s illicit activities. Furthermore, interdiction and inspection of all suspicious ships and cargos also became mandatory, a notable development since China and Russia opposed making such measures mandatory in the past. Rice said a North Korean provocation in the coming weeks is expected with the imposition of this sanction. It has already threatened suspension of the 1953 Korean War armistice, including severing its military hotline with the United States and suspending the activities of its representative office at Panmunjom. Second, its rhetoric is at a fever pitch with threats of preemptive nuclear attacks against the United States. Third, North Korea has blasted ongoing annual U.S.-South Korean military exercises, including the start of Key Resolve beginning Monday, March 11. Fourth, it has declared no-sail, no-fly zones in the East Sea and Yellow Sea, which are telltale signs of more missile tests. (30)