tv [untitled] CSPAN June 12, 2009 4:00pm-4:30pm EDT
council and appreciate the efforts of the members of the council to address this challenge. this resolution is an expression of the international community one who collectively respond to action of thed dprk. we urge them to cooperate with this resolution. they must refrain from -- anything that will further aggravate the situation. my government also wants the dprk to return to talks and abandon all of its nuclear weapons once and for all.
round of sanctions against north korea, the u.n. ambassadors spoke at a briefing. she is joined by press secretary robert gibbs. this is one hour. >> trust me. i have been working on that. so, obviously, we are bringing you another special guest. ambassador susan rice from the united nations is with us. i think many of you know that the resolution that was crafted on north korean sanctions passed unanimously a short while ago from the united nations, and ambassador rice will talk to us a little bit about that and answer a few of your questions.
>> thanks very much, robert. afternoon, everybody. we are very pleased that the security council just, within the last 1.5 hours, passed unanimously a brand-new resolution imposing tough, new, meaningful sanctions on north korea in response to its nuclear tests and its other provocative behavior, including recent missile activity. this resolution is unprecedented. it is innovative. and it will cause the sanctions regime on north korea to be strengthened in five critical areas. first, the resolution begins by condemning north korean actions in the strongest possible terms and demands north korea halted a all nuclear activity, halt all missile activity and returned to the negotiation table. with the prerogative and threatening behavior of north
korea, these five measures include the following, and i would like the deputy to -- i would like to go through them one by one. first, it will impose a complete embargo on the export of arms by north korea to the rest of the world. arms exports have been a major source of revenue for north korea and have fueled its wmd and proliferation activity. it also massively broadens the scope of items that are banned to be imported by north korea and requires that member states to exercise vigilance in any sale of small arms or light weapons and related material. the only imports that are able to make in the realm of military material, and states that do sell to north korea have to notify the united nations sanctions committee that was established under a previous regime in advance -- secondly, the sanctions regime it imposes a broad, sweeping, new financial sanctions to prevent north korea
from engaging in transactions or activity that could fund its wmd or proliferation activities. it broadens the responsibility to all member states, and the entities, individuals, institutions, transactions on its territory and calls for states to freeze those transactions and the assets related to them. in addition, it calls upon all members states as well as international financial institutions to cease from providing any new concessional loans, grants, export credits, trade credits, or the like to north korea with the narrow exceptions for humanitarian purposes or for developmental activities that benefit directly civilian population. third, it establishes an innovative and expenses new regime for inspecting cargo that
is suspected of being contraband under this resolution and prior resolutions that could benefit north korea is wmd program or be part of its proliferation activity -- north korea's wmd program. first of all, member states are expected to inspect any vessel on land, air, or see in their territory that they have reasonable grounds to believe is carrying the contraband material that is prohibited by this resolution and the prior resolution -- land, air, or sea. secondly, it calls on member states to inspect outside of their waters and the vessel that they believe with a reasonable grounds could be carrying this contraband, and it calls on any potentially suspect vessels to submit consentual lead to that inspection in open waters -- conceptuallsentually to that inn
in open waters. that vessel would be directed to an appropriate and inconvenient port for mandatory inspection, and any contraband material that is found following that mandatory inspection is required to be seized and disposed of. there is also an additional provision, which i think is new for any united nations sanction regime, and that is the prohibition, ahç mandatory provision, on providing what is called "bunkering" regarding to a vessel on the open seas, and that pertains to fuel and other support that a ship needs to carry on, and that is designed to make it more likely that a ship has to return to port, at which point, it would face that mandatory instruction. the fourth element of the regime is a decision to add additional
companies, entities, goods, and individuals to the list of entities and individuals that are subject to an assets freeze under the prior resolution, so within 30 days, we and other states will add to that list other companies from north korea, new individuals, new goods that will be prohibited from trade and things that will be frozen, as in the case of individuals, and finally, the fifth element is a stepped up implementation and monitoring mechanism so that the united nations and we and others have the ability to more effectively track implementation of potential violations and bring that before the international community for action, so with that, i want to just conclude by saying this is a very robust, a tough regime with teeth that will bite in north korea.
we had good cooperation from all of the permanent members of the security council plus japan and south korea and and ultimately all of the members of council looking to get unanimously behind this tough resolution which we believe sends a very strong message to north korea that they need to change course. thank you. >> thank you. i wanted to ask you about this interdiction. what is the united states doing to try to localize more resources into the waters and other regions where these vessels might be to take part in interdiction, and how aggressive is the administration going to be on that? >> well, let me just explain to you the steps that we will take when we have reason to believe that a vessel is carrying suspect cargo. first of all, we are going to ramp up and intensify our existing efforts to gather information, or that would allow us to determine if there is a suspect mosul on the high seas. when we have that information --
if there is a suspect vessel on the high seas. when we have that information, we will make it available to all states concerned, so the flag state, the potential port state, the port in the state of origin, and all of those ports en route so they do not provide those bunkering services and that they fulfill their obligations to inspect in a territorial water. if a vessel is designated as one we are concerned about, we are prepared to confront that mosul and seek to board it conceptually to board that vessel -- we are prepared to confront that vessel and to seek to board it concsentually. we will take the necessary action to make it plain is bustling it is, what is believed to be carrying, and to shine a
spotlight on it -- to make it plain. i am not going to get into the disposition of our military assets. suffice it to say that they will take the steps that are necessary, and we have the ability to do so. >> how do you respect -- expect north korea to respond to these? do you think it is likely for them to conduct another productive -- provocative action, and if they do, what can the world community do at that point? >> well, i think based on past experience and the pattern that north korea has with reckless and dangerous actions, it would not be surprised if north korea reacted to this very tough sanctions regime in a fashion that would be further --
provocation and further destabilize it. in that event, we will continue to do what we committed to do today, which is to implement to the fullest extent what is the strongest, toughest sanctions regime on the books for any country today. these measures, if fully implemented by us and others, will bite and a substantial way, and we are going to focus on insuring that implementation is fully achieved by us and others, that that bite is felt, and we are not going to get into a tit- for-tat reaction to every north korean provocative act. they know what they need to do to uphold international obligations. we are intent upon ensuring that this very tough regime is fully implemented. >> there is no legal authority in the resolution to use military force to force a shift back to port in the event it does not submit to inspection.
is that right? >> that is correct. there is not an authorization to use military force. i think it is fair to say that we want, and we got, a substantially enhanced inspections regime. there has never been before a regime with such clear-cut obligations and responsibilities for member states. it ends in a binding obligation for states to direct suspect vessels to go in for mandatory inspections. obviously, as in the case of many instances, there were countries that gave something and got something. we feel we got a lot, and we are pleased with this outcome. >> when does it take effect? >> today. yes. >> were we going to propose -- humanitarian aid? >> no, there is nothing in this
resolution that cuts off of humanitarian aid or any humanitarian aid. >> when you say, "they gave, and we got," what we gave up, was that the military part of this issue? >> i am not going to get major into what was on the table in the context of the negotiations. suffice it to say that we worked very closely with china, russia, japan, south korea, britain, and france, and then, ultimately, others in the canceled her to put forth a very robust regime, both on the inspections front and with respect to the financial sanctions, the additional companies and entities that will be subject to assets' freezes, and we're comfortable with the outcome. i do not think it is particularly productive to talk about what others gave up and what was the substance of the give and take. i think what is important is that from the united states'
point of view, we got all of the critical countries involved to stand behind a very tough resolution, to speak unanimously in the council today in support of it, and we are all committed to its effective implementation. >> the north has already said that they would consider any further sanctions as an act of war be how would you respond to that with this regime in place? >> i think i did just respond to that question, because we have said very clearly that we are going to respond not to every provocative north korean statement or potential action. there is reason to believe that they may respond in an irresponsible fashion to this. we are not going to jump to their drummer. we are going to implement the sanctions regime to the fullest possible extent along with others, and we expect this will have a very substantial impact on north korea's ability to finance its wmd programs, to proliferate its wmd and missile
technology, and we are confident this will be a powerful impact as well as a powerful signal. >> ambassador rice, what will it take for us for the military option to be considered? as you have said and have seen over the years, north korea has continued to be provocative, and you have said on a couple of occasions that you are taking a very big part. knowing how the operate, what would it take for the military option to be a consideration? >> well, i certainly would not want to get into speculation about hypotheticals. i think the bottom-line is that president obama and this administration will take whatever actions are necessary to protect the united states from this and any other threat to our national security, and i will not go beyond that. >> last week, in france, president obama said it was
clear that diplomacy was not working with north korea and that he wanted tougher resolutions, and he said we would take it very hard look at how the u.s. is approaching north korea. is this, the passage of this resolution, does this fulfill that, or does that sort of very hard look -- is that still underway and that we should work for future actions? >> our actions in the security council are one element of our larger approach to the challenge of north korea. these are multilateral sanctions that are tough and powerful. we have other abilities to act in different worlds, economic, diplomatic, and the like, -- in different realms, and those remain available to the united states. i think our approach to north korea remains under active consideration. >> how concerned were you as a negotiated about whether or not north korea would take action
against the two americans as punishment for these sanctions? >> well, we view the situation of the two american journalists as being in a separate and apart -- as being separate and apart from the actions we are discussing and we took today in new york. obviously, there's is a humanitarian -- theirs is a humanitarian matter and one that we think should be addressed in that context by north korea. we have been very clear that we seek their immediate and unconditional release as a humanitarian act. >> any idea that north korea sees it that same way? a separate issue? >> i have would not want to speak to their perceptions. >> ambassador, what makes the rounds think that the sanctions against north korean vessels, when there seems to be difficulty in enforcing the waters off somalia from groups of pirates -- >> there are very, very
different sorts of challenges. first of all, in the case of north korea, we are not talking about small boats armed with individuals trying to climb up the side of massive vessels. we are talking about ships capable of carrying significant cargo with wmd or missile technology on them. that is a different endeavour. this regime as i laid out as a series of steps that are to be followed by vessels, by member states -- this is a different endeavor. the aim is to make sure that these end up on the spot in international waters at an appropriate and convenient port where they can be fully expected and where the cargo can be seized of and disposed of responsibly. >> where there ever any north korean vessels at u.s. ports? >> not to my knowledge -- were
there ever? north korean vessels travel the world, and they could be in any number of states, territory- wise. >> should iran take a lesson away from how this north korean situation was handled here, and with that, do you believe from a diplomatic perspective if there is a difference with who wins the elections? >> in terms of iran's response to this sanctions regime, i imagine that they have been following this closely and that they would see when a country such as north korea acts in defiance of international law and their international obligations, illegally tested missiles launches -- the international community has been very clear, very firm, and very unitas', and that is an important signal to any would-be
proliferators -- and their united -- and very united, and that is an important signal to any would-be proliferator. we, as others, await the results. >> p'yongyang is an unpredictable, hard to penetrate regime. how big were the concerns that the sort of sanctions might push them over the edge to do something dramatically bad? what was the catalyst that prompted you to take the action that you did, and what are you doing to try to monitor their actions from this point ford? where their conversations with china about that -- from this point forward? were their conversations -- were theire conversations?
>> to fail to take strong action in response to a very provocative and illegal action on the part of north korea -- out of concern they may take strong actions. the point is that we needed to demonstrate, and today, we have demonstrated, that provocative, reckless actions come at a cost and that north korea will pay a price for its actions. there is a case that they have behaved irresponsibly in the past, and we would not be surprised if they behaved irresponsibly in the future. we are intent on enforcing this, and we believe in its full implementation. it will have a substantial impact with north korea. we are working with china and russia and with south korea, japan, other neighboring states that have a great stake, as we
do, in the issue of regional security and stability. they went along with these measures because they also believe that a strong signal needed to be sent to north korea, and we fully expect them to implement this with us and others. >> any assurances from you to try to limit or mitigate or respond to any actions on the part of north korea? >> i would not put it that way, no. we all understand that this is a regional security situation that has the potential to evolve in a worrying way. we share an interest in preventing further destabilization on the korean peninsula and more broadly in the northeast asian region. we are working together on that end, and the message to north korea is that it does not benefit from taking further
steps that destabilize the peninsula or the larger region. indeed, it pays a price for that action. >> ambassador, what was the reason? >> no symbolic message at all. we have more to extremely hard over the course. -- we have ward to extremely hard -- we have worked extremely hard to get to where we got to today. we're confident -- we were confident that we were going to get a unanimous vote. we had that, and with that, i was comfortable being here today. >> if there is a change in government, if iran as nuclear power, that it is not used for these purposes? >> american policy with respect to iran and its nuclear program
is not dependent on which the administration is governing iran. the islamic republic of iran ought to not pursue its nuclear program, its nuclear weapons program, and that will not change, depending on the outcome of the election. the president has been very clear that all states have the ability to pursue peaceful uses of nuclear power. >> one more, and then i will let her get back to work. >> i could not hear. who said? >> north korea said they would see any sentence as a declaration of war. what will you do? >> i really do not want to speculate as to what north korea may do or to get into predicting
our response to a hypothetical. i think the point is that north korea's actions have been dangerous and reckless and destabilizing. they have been met with a clear and strong response from the international community, and the message that north korea should take from that is that it will not succeed, and it will not be rewarded by pursuing actions that are illegal, dangerous, and that are destabilizing. >> thinking. >> thinking. -- thank you. >> thank you. >> more or less. >> thank you. that was very kind of you. >> we, as i think you know, are
taking all of the steps that we deem appropriate to get to the swift and unconditional release of those journalists. i do not think it is a program to elaborate what those are, but suffice it to say that the president and the entire administration is very concerned with these two young women. one has a child four years old at home, and we think it is a humanitarian gesture as well as a humanitarian requirement that it would be the right thing for north korea to do to release these two women immediately and unconditionally, and we are working very hard towards that end. i personally do not. >> the administration? >> yes, we have had, i think,
third-party visitation, and from those visitations, they seem to be in good health, but that is what i am not sure about. i do not know the answer to that. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you. the ambassador, yes. let's do a quick weekend, -- week ahead, and then i will take some questions before i lower the podium into the ground. the president will begin this weekend with no schedule of public events. monday morning, at 9:30, the president will go to chicago for a meeting with the american medical association. that speech is scheduled for approximately 11:15 a.m. central time. he will return to the white
house approximately 3:45 eastridge and will later that day meet with the italian prime minister berlusconi at the white house. on wednesday, he will meet with president li at the white house. the same schedule for thursday, thursday evening, he will attend a fund-raiser for the dccc, mes and an event on friday, and there'll be the radio and television correspondents association dinner here in washington. wednesday, just meetings and event here at the white house. yes, ma'am? >> i wanted to ask about the guantánamo developed over the last day or so -- development over the last day or so. what about moving to close down the prison?