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US fails to get China to back UN text against North Korea

The United States (US) and European allies in the United Nations Security Council failed on Monday convince China and Russia support a text pointing out North Korea’s “violations” of resolutions on missile technology.

North Korean state media said Pyongyang was conducting a test on Saturday for what analysts said was a reconnaissance satellite, but which analysts said was a thinly veiled ballistic missile launch just days before South Korea’s presidential election.

“We would like China and Russia to join us in this room” to pass the text, US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield told AFP after a closed-door Security Council meeting.

Backed by 10 other ambassadors – including from non-Security Council countries such as Australia and Japan – Thomas-Greenfield read a text confirming that the group “unites today in condemning the launch of a ballistic missile by the DPRK on March 5 (local time). missile”, referring to the official name of North Korea, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

“Like ten other ballistic missile launches since the beginning of the year, this act by the DPRK has violated multiple Security Council resolutions,” she said.

“As the DPRK escalates its destabilizing actions, the Security Council remains silent.

“Any ballistic missile launch that results in Council inaction erodes the credibility of the UN Security Council itself,” Thomas-Greenfield added, without mentioning China or Russia.

The two countries were the only states to oppose the short, “basic” text at Monday’s meeting, diplomats said.

The text said the Security Council had met, that there were “violations” of Council resolutions and called for dialogue, a diplomat told AFP on condition of anonymity.

The meeting marks the 17th time China has opposed the adoption of a text proposed by the US and Europe against North Korea since 2017, when the Security Council unanimously passed sanctions in an attempt to force Pyongyang to suspend its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

“We stand ready to work together and determine a mutually acceptable approach with other members of the Council to address the DPRK’s provocations,” said Thomas-Greenfield.

“But let’s start with the premise that the Council has a responsibility to speak publicly about clear and repeated violations of Security Council resolutions,” she added, calling on other members to also “do these dangerous and illegal acts.” to condemn.

Despite the bite of international sanctions over its nuclear weapons, Pyongyang has ignored US offers for talks since the high-profile negotiations between leader Kim Jong Un and then-US President Donald Trump collapsed in 2019, as Thomas-Greenfield noted Monday.

In lieu of diplomacy, Pyongyang has redoubled Kim’s commitment to modernize its military, warning in January that it could abandon a self-imposed moratorium on the testing of long-range missiles and nuclear weapons.

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