N. Korea conducts N-test again; US calls it ‘rogue nation’

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, center, smiles as he inspects the test launch of a Hwasong-12 intermediate range missile in Pyongyang on Tuesday. (AP)
Updated 03 September 2017

N. Korea conducts N-test again; US calls it ‘rogue nation’

WASHINGTON/LONDON/SEOUL: North Korea’s biggest nuclear test to date was condemned around the world on Sunday, with the UN nuclear watchdog expressing grave concern and Russia saying it could lead to serious consequences.
US President Donald Trump will meet with his national security advisers on Sunday to discuss N. Korea’s nuclear test, the White House said.
“The national security team is monitoring this closely,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement. “The president and his national security team will have a meeting to discuss further later today. We will provide updates as necessary.”
North Korea said its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on Sunday was an advanced hydrogen bomb for a long-range missile, marking a dramatic escalation of the regime’s stand-off with the US and its allies.
The test drew swift international condemnation. Trump described North Korea as a “rogue nation” and said its actions “continue to be very hostile and dangerous to the United States.”
“Appeasement with North Korea will not work, they only understand one thing,” he said in messages on Twitter.
Hours before the test Trump had talked by phone with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe about the “escalating” nuclear crisis in the region. The US president has previously vowed to stop North Korea developing nuclear weapons that could threaten the US.
North Korea, which carries out its nuclear and missile programs in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions and sanctions, said on state television that a hydrogen bomb test ordered by leader Kim Jong-un had been a “perfect success.”
The bomb was designed to be mounted on its newly developed intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the North said.
The test had registered with international seismic agencies as a manmade earthquake near a test site in the North. Japanese and South Korean officials said it was around 10 times more powerful than the tremor picked up after North Korea’s last nuclear test a year ago.
There was no independent confirmation that the detonation was a hydrogen bomb, rather than a less powerful atomic device, but Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Tokyo could not rule out such a possibility.
The head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano said the nuclear test was “an extremely regrettable act” that was “in complete disregard of the repeated demands of the international community.”
French President Emmanuel Macron called on the international community to react firmly to this “new provocation,” and South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Seoul would push for strong steps to further isolate the North, including new UN sanctions.
Japan also raised the prospect of further sanctions, saying curbs on North Korea’s oil trade would be on the table.
China, North Korea’s sole major ally, said it strongly condemned the nuclear test and urged Pyongyang to stop its “wrong” actions.
The US has repeatedly urged Beijing to do more to rein in its neighbor, but Beijing has lambasted the West and its allies in recent weeks for suggesting that it is solely responsible for doing so. It has said military drills by South Korea and the US on the Korean peninsula have done nothing to lessen tensions.
Russia said North Korea risked “serious consequences” but urged cool heads to avoid further escalation.


Hague hearing offers ray of hope to Bangladesh’s Rohingya

Updated 10 December 2019

Hague hearing offers ray of hope to Bangladesh’s Rohingya

  • International Court of Justice seeks to address atrocities committed by Myanmar

DHAKA: Several members of the Rohingya community in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar expressed optimism on Monday that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) would rule in their favor once it began its three-day hearing against Myanmar on Tuesday.

The case was filed by Gambia on behalf of all Muslim nations from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) with the ICJ over the alleged persecution of the Rohingya by the Myanmar military.

On Nov. 18, the court decided to hold the hearings from Dec.10 to 12. Gambia’s justice minister will lead his country during the hearings.

Both Canada and Bangladesh have been supporting Gambia by providing different data and information regarding the atrocities against the Rohingya.

Myanmar’s state councillor and its de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has already reached  the Netherlands to lead the defense lawyers on behalf of her country at the ICJ.

Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque will remain present at the courtroom to witness the process.

He will lead a 20-member team, comprising government officials and civil society representatives.

Rohingya at Cox’s Bazar are highly optimistic of securing justice at the ICJ.

“We think justice will be ensured because all international human rights groups, different UN organizations and the international community have got evidence of the persecution on the Rohingya. All of them have visited the refugee camps many times and listened to the plight of the Rohingya,” Sawyed Ullah, a community leader from Jamtoli, told Arab News.

“Also, we have strong evidences of atrocities committed by the Myanmar government to root out the Rohingya from their birth place, Rakhine,” Ullah added.

“Without ensuring accountability, there will not be any safety and justice in Rakhine. Once the accountability is restored,  all of us will be able to go back home.”

Ramjan Ali, another refugee from the Kutupalang camp, said: “Myanmar’s government has forcibly displaced the Rohingya from their own land and that compelled us to shelter here at the refugee camps. Isn’t it enough evidence to justify our allegations against the Myanmar government?”

Ramjan Ali added: “Still the situation in Rakhine is very bad as we receive information from our relatives over there. We need protection from the international forces before any repatriation, and the ICJ’s decision will be helpful for us in this regard.”

Rohingya human rights activist Nay San Lwin, co-founder of the German-based Free Rohingya Coalition described the ICJ’s move as historic.

“It is first ever since we are persecuted. We have been seeking for justice since very long time,” Lwin told Arab News, adding that “finally the case is now at the world court and although it will take several years we are now excited for provisional measures from the court.”

Lwin, along with some 200 Rohingya rights activists from around the world, is set to hold a protest rally at the Hague from Dec. 11 during the ICJ’s hearing.

“We are expecting very much from the ICJ. Regardless whether Myanmar follows the decisions of the court this will have a huge impact. There won’t be any other justice mechanisms if this international court of justice can’t ensure the justice for us,” added Lwin.

Expressing his frustration on the repatriation process, Lwin said that the Myanmar government still had a “genocidal policy” on the Rohingya.

“I don’t think repatriation of the Rohingya will take place soon unless the government is considering to fulfill our demands,” he said.

The ICJ’s final decision will hold strong significance as any decisions taken by the ICJ are binding on member states.

Both Gambia and Myanmar are signatories of the Genocide Convention.