UNSC fails to release press statement against N. Korea

Jiji PressNEW YORK (Jiji Press) — The U.N. Security Council on Wednesday failed to release a press statement against North Korea over its latest ballistic missile launch on Sunday as Russia sounded cautious about the move, which was led by the United States, U.N. diplomats said.

Russia blocked the release of the statement, a Security Council diplomat said.

A draft of the statement said that the members of the powerful U.N. organ “strongly condemned” the missile firing as a “violation” of related Security Council resolutions and demanded North Korea “conduct no further nuclear tests.”

Some envisaged Security Council press statements were not issued in the past due to opposition from Russia or China. This time, China tolerated the draft statement against North Korea, according to the U.N. diplomats.

The draft also expressed the council members’ “utmost concern” over the reclusive country’s “highly destabilizing behavior and flagrant and provocative defiance of the Security Council” while noting that its “illegal ballistic missile activities are contributing to its development of nuclear weapons delivery systems and are greatly increasing tension in the region and beyond.”

The release of a Security Council press statement requires the consent of all 15 member countries.

In a statement on Wednesday, Russia said that the proposed text did not contain the words “through dialogue” for the solution to problems on the Korean Peninsula, which were seen in past Security Council press statements denouncing North Korea’s missile launches.

Asking for the language to be restored, Moscow expressed its commitment to continue working on the draft, the Russian statement said.

But the United States “without providing any explanations canceled the work on the draft, claiming that it was Russia who had ‘blocked’ the [press] statement,” it added.

Since the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump was inaugurated in January, the Security Council adopted four press statements condemning North Korea’s missile launches, with Russia and China joining the 13 other members in supporting the documents.Speech

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