Can the SC Resolution 2270 Stop North Korea's Nuclear Dilemma? From the Geneva Agreed Framework to the Washington Communiqué

Author:Eric Yong Joong Lee
Pages:262-277
SUMMARY

The UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2270 against North Korea’s fourth nuclear test on January 6, 2016, and its subsequent rocket launch. This resolution contains tougher sanction measures than any others adopted in the past, but is not expected to effectively stop North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. This essay analyzes the critical loophole of the rule of law in global society regarding ... (see full summary)

 
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262 Eric Y. J. Lee
Can the SC Resolution 2270 Stop North Korea
s
Nuclear Dilemma? From the Geneva Agreed
Framework to the Washington Communiqué
Eric Yong Joong Lee
*
The UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2270 against North Koreas fourth nuclear
test on January 6, 2016, and its subsequent rocket launch. This resolution contains
tougher sanction measures than any others adopted in the past, but is not expected to
effectively stop North Koreas nuclear weapons program. This essay analyzes the critical
loophole of the rule of law in global society regarding nuclear proliferation systems as well
as regional governance. It further suggests legal and policy options to resolve this nuclear
dilemma. The parties concerned are asked to alter the status quo of hostile co-existence and
instead revert to the spirit of the Geneva Agreed Framework.
Keywords
North Korea, Nuclear Test, Resolution 2270, NPT, Six-Party Talks, Two-Track
Approach, NEA-NWFZ, Kim Jong Un
1. Genesis
On January 6, 2016, North Korea carried out its fourth nuclear test at the Punggye-
ri nuclear test site, approximately 50 kilometers northwest of Kilju City, North
Hamkyeong Province. (Figure 1) It was the second nuclear detonation under the
leadership of Kim Jong Un. Unlike the past three tests, North Korea claimed it was
Professor of International Law at Dongguk University – Seoul, Korea; President of YIJUN Institute of International
Law. B.A. (U. Washington), M.P.A. (Seoul N. U.), LL.M. (Leiden), Dr.iur. (Erasmus). ORCID: http://orcid.org/0000-
0001-5640-490X. This work was supported by the research program of Dongguk University. The views reflected in
this article are his own. Readers’ comments are cordially welcome. The author may be contacted at: grotian@hotmail.
com / Address: 562 Gwangnaruro, Kwangjin-gu #201, Seoul 05033 Korea.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14330/jeail.2016.9.1.11
East Asian Observer
263
IX JEAIL 1 (2016)
a hydrogen bomb.
1
This is, however, speculated to in fact be a kind of boosted
fission      
to the consequent 5.1 magnitude earthquake
2
with its epicenter at the nuclear test
site, being notably similar to the earthquake size that was accompanied by the 2013
nuclear test by North Korea.
3
Figure 1: The Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site
4
Source: Compiled by the author
North Koreas nuclear test was instantly responded to with severe criticism by the
international community. The US, Japan, and South Korea referred to it as a serious
violation of international law, and the UN Security Council adopted a resolution
towards complete nuclear non-proliferation.
5
China and Russia also condemned the
1 See North Korea says it tested hydrogen bomb, nk news, Jan. 6, 2016, available at http://www.nknews.org/2016/01/
north-korea-says-it-tested-hydrogen-bomb (last visited on May 3, 2016).
2 J. McCurry & M. Safi, North Korea claims successful hydrogen bomb test in “self-defense against US,” guarDian, Jan.
6, 2016, available at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/06/north-korean-nuclear-test-suspected-as-artificial-
earthquake-detected (China said the earthquake was 4.9 magnitude). See also China Earthquake Data Center <available
only in Chinese>, available at http://data.earthquake.cn/datashare/datashare_details_subao.jsp?id=CC20160106094443
(all last visited on May 3, 2016).
3 USGS, M5.1 Nuclear Explosion – 24km ENE of Sungjibaegam, North Korea, available at http://earthquake.usgs.gov/
earthquakes/eventpage/usc000f5t0 (last visited on May 3, 2016).
4 See North Korea's nuclear programme: How advanced is it?, BBC news, Feb. 10, 2016, available at http://www.bbc.
com/news/world-asia-pacific-11813699 (last visited on May 12, 2016).
5 See North Korea nuclear: State claims first hydrogen bomb test, BBC News, Jan. 6, 2016, available at http://www.bbc.
com/news/world-asia-35240012 (last visited on Apr. 12, 2016)

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