North Korea will no longer tip off the International Maritime Organization (IMO) about its missile launches after the UN agency adopted a resolution condemning them, a commentary by international affairs analyst Kim Myong Chol published in the state-run news agency said.
“As IMO responded to the DPRK’s advance notice on its satellite launch with the adoption of an anti-DPRK “resolution”, we will regard this as its official manifestation of stand that the DPRK’s advance notice is no longer necessary. In the future, IMO should know and take measures by itself over the period of the DPRK’s satellite launch and the impact point of its carrier and be prepared for taking full responsibility for all the consequences to be entailed from it,” the commentary, titled “IMO Reduced into Tool for White House,” read.
On May 31, the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee adopted a resolution condemning North Korea’s missile launches as a serious threat to the safety of international shipping and calling for adherence to rules, including providing advance notice of any missile tests, the South Korean Foreign Ministry said. It was the IMO’s first resolution condemning Pyongyang’s launches. The organization’s official documents are categorized into resolutions, circulars and decisions, with resolutions considered the strongest recommendations to member states, according to the South Korean Foreign Ministry. The IMO previously issued circulars expressing concern over Pyongyang’s continued unannounced missile launches in 1998, 2006 and 2016.
The analyst argued that the IMO “cooked up such resolution” for “the first time in history,” which testifies that the organization “has been completely politicized, abandoning its original mission of promoting international cooperation in the field of maritime security.”
He added that improving North Korea’s military capabilities is the country’s sovereign right, which is necessary to “protect the security of the country and the people from the ever-more reckless military hostile acts of the US and its vassal forces and to defend the regional peace and stability.”
“This is a legitimate right of a sovereign state clearly stipulated in the UN Charter and relevant international laws, and an international organization has neither authority nor qualification to say this or that about it,” he said.
The expert added that Pyongyang conducts missile test-firing drills in the “safest way” while taking into account the security of other countries, and “there has been no harm” to any so far. North Korea also issued a maritime alert to the Maritime Security Agency of Japan, a regional troubleshooting body, and informed the IMO of the time of the launch and the possible location where the missile remnants might fall, although it was not required to do so.
“What was surprising is that IMO, when receiving our previous notice, said it was not obligatory and then later impudently talked about ‘violation of the regulations,’” he said.
The organization risks losing the trust of the global community if it continues with such practices, being reduced into a “plaything” of the United States, the expert warned.