China Backs Plan to Search North Korean Ships and Halt Arms Deals

After North Korea launched nuclear tests in May, the UN Security Council are imposing stricter searches on cargo entering and exiting North Korea. From the Times:

The major powers, including the United States and China, agreed yesterday on a system to inspect suspect cargoes in and out of North Korea despite Pyongyang’s warning that it would regard such checks as an act of war.

The draft UN resolution — a response to North Korea’s nuclear test on May 25 — would also expand the arms embargo on the country and clamp down on arms-related money transfers. The full 15-nation Security Council is expected to endorse the plan as early as tomorrow.

The UN Security Council authorised cargo inspections after North Korea’s first nuclear test in 2006. The new resolution fleshes out the detail, particularly with respect to suspect ships on the high seas. The US had wanted a mandatory inspection but China softened the language so that it became a political rather than a legal commitment.

See also the New York Times and Al Jazeera’s perspective.