The Korean People’s Navy launched a new submarine into North Korean waters Saturday morning. There is no indication as to whether the submarine is nuclear-capable, but it has not engaged in any hostile actions. The motives behind the launch are unknown at this time, and the UNSC has opted to refrain from any action until developments that warrant action occur.
“We agree with France and Uruguay: We currently do not have enough information to take any kind of hasty action,” the representative from Sweden said. “[U.N. action] may be seen as a hostile action and escalate the region. In the past, we have increased sanctions for aggression or missile tests, but it would be unwise at this time to move forward in adopting any measures that would address the issue.”
North Korea’s allies defended their neighbor in stronger words.
“The Russian Federation firmly believes there is not enough information on this submarine to take action,” the representative from Russia said. “We need to focus our efforts on developments in the South China Sea.”
The traditionally influential western powers took a harder line on North Korean actions.
“This is an extremely volatile nation and any movement should be seen as a concern,” the representative from the United Kingdom said. “We have to tread carefully.”
The U.S. concurred, adding an analogy related to the region.
“If the U.S. launched a submarine off the coast of Guam, North Korea would be concerned,” the representative from the U.S. said. “We wish to seek more information, and we desire a full statement from the North Korean cabinet on the purpose of the sub.”
While the UNSC remains united in its non-response, a delegate from the Asia Cooperation Dialogue will arrive Saturday afternoon to brief the body on its opinion of the submarine, as well as the precarious situation in the South China Sea.”
In the meantime, the UNSC has resorted to a discussion of cybersecurity as it relates to electoral legitimacy. Uruguay has emphasized the upcoming election in South Korea and possible cyber threats from the DPRK.
Image: U.S. Pacific Fleet/Flickr