United Nations Security Council Resolution 1718
|UN Security Council
The Security Council votes in favour of Resolution 1718
|Date||14 October 2006|
|Vote||For: 15 — Abs. 0 — Against: 0|
Democratic People's Republic of Korea
|Security Council composition|
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1718 was adopted unanimously by the United Nations Security Council on October 14, 2006. The resolution, passed under Chapter VII, Article 41, of the UN Charter, imposes a series of economic and commercial sanctions on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (the DPRK, or North Korea) in the aftermath of that nation's claimed nuclear test of October 9, 2006.
The resolution's provisions include:
- North Korea must "not conduct any further nuclear test or launch of a ballistic missile", "suspend all activities related to its ballistic missile programme" and "abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programmes in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner".
- The DPRK must also "return immediately to the six-party talks without precondition".
- Shipments of cargo going to and from North Korea may be stopped and inspected for weapons of mass destruction or associated items (however, there is no obligation placed on member states to perform such inspections).
- A ban is placed on imports and exports of "battle tanks, armoured combat vehicles, large calibre artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missiles or missile systems", "related materiel including spare parts" and any other items identified by the sanctions committee.
- UN member states must freeze the overseas assets of individuals and companies involved with the DPRK's weapons programmes. An international travel ban is also placed on programme employees and their families.
- UN members are banned from exporting luxury goods to North Korea.
All the UN's member states are required to report to the Council on the measures they adopt in compliance with the resolution within the next 30 days. The resolution also orders the establishment of a sanctions committee, made up of the UNSC's fifteen current members, to oversee its enforcement and report back to the Council at least every 90 days.
While the resolution does invoke Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter which allows for enforcement, it does not provide for any use of military force to back up these demands. The UN Security Council had earlier determined to present a united front on this resolution in order to make clear to Pyongyang its condemnation of the reclusive nation's nuclear aspirations, but there remain differences of opinion about the implementation of the resolution. Both China and Russia are concerned about how cargo inspections could provoke confrontations with the North Korean Navy, and China declared after passage of the resolution that it will not perform such inspections. The United States compromised on its initial desire to block all imports of military equipment. The final vote on the sanction was delayed by the attempts to change the wording. 
On 16 November 2006, the French Government enacted the provision allowing for DPRK ships to be searched in international waters. 
North Korean reaction
North Korea's UN envoy Pak Gil Yon walked out of the chamber after saying Pyongyang "totally rejects" the "unjustifiable" resolution. He said it was "gangster-like" for the Security Council to have adopted a "coercive resolution" while neglecting US pressure on North Korea: "If the United States increases pressure on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the DPRK will continue to take physical countermeasures considering it as a declaration of war."
The United States ambassador at the time, John Bolton, said that it was the second time in three months that the representative of North Korea had rejected a unanimous resolution of the Security Council and walked out. (The other time was after the vote on United Nations Security Council Resolution 1695.) He went on to add: "It is the contemporary equivalent of Nikita Khrushchev pounding his shoe on the rostrum of the General Assembly."
On October 17, 2006, North Korea said the United Nations had effectively declared war on the country when it imposed sanctions for the country's nuclear test. The DPRK foreign ministry said North Korea wanted peace, but was not afraid of war. A statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency said that North Korea will "mercilessly strike" if its sovereignty is violated.
- 2006 North Korean nuclear test
- List of United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1701 to 1800 (2006–2008)
- North Korea and weapons of mass destruction
- United Nations Security Council Resolution 1874
- "Security Council condemns nuclear test by Democratic People's Republic of Korea". United Nations. October 14, 2006.
- "Security Council imposes sanctions on DPR Korea after its claimed nuclear test", United Nations, October 14, 2006
- "Haggling delays N Korea sanctions vote". Daily Telegraph. October 15, 2006
- "France searches N Korean vessel". BBC News. November 16, 2006
- "UN slaps sanctions on North Korea". BBC News. October 14, 2006
- United Nations Security Council Verbotim Report meeting 5490 page 9, Mr. Bolton United States on July 15, 2006 (retrieved 2008-04-06)
- United Nations Security Council Verbotim Report meeting 5551 page 9, Mr. Bolton United States on October 14, 2006 (retrieved 2008-04-06)
- "N Korea says sanctions 'are war'", BBC News, October 17, 2006
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- UN video feeds of Security Council vote
- Pyongyang and Proliferation: The UN North Korea Resolution, JURIST