Wednesday, October 11, 2006

UN divided over severity of nuclear sanctions

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | UN divided over severity of nuclear sanctions: "One of the toughest sanctions would allow the UN to stop any North Korean ship on the high seas to search for nuclear technology, a potential flashpoint. Mark Fitzpatrick, a specialist in proliferation at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, warned of the dangers. "The first time a North Korean ship refuses to stop there could be an incident and that could spiral," he said.

Another proposal is for a ban on travel and luxury goods, both targeted at Kim Jong-il, the North Korean leader, his family and others in the regime. Other sanctions under discussion are to put a squeeze on its overseas finances and to extend a ban on missile technology, imposed in July, to include other military hardware and training. Members unanimously rejected broad sanctions that would hurt the already impoverished population.

Hideyuki Ban, co-director of the Citizens' Nuclear Information Centre, did not believe him. He said Japan's plutonium stockpile, thought to total more than 43 tonnes, could be diverted from civilian energy use to build nuclear weapons "in a matter of months"."

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