Debates at the UN Security Council Summit in 2017 (123rf)
The UN Security Council held a closed-door meeting to discuss North Korea’s recent missile test on Monday, but failed to produce a text condemning the regime of its sanctions violations.
At the request of Washington, the meeting of the UN’s most powerful body came after the North said it conducted test for a reconnaissance satellite Saturday. Observers believe it was a cover for testing long-range ballistic missile technology banned by UN Security Council resolutions.
The council was unable to come to consensus in issuing a joint statement due to opposition from China and Russia, according to the Agence France-Presse.
It was the fifth time the 15-member council gathered for a meeting this year on North Korea’s weapons test, but no joint statement or a resolution has been issued after any of the meetings.
Instead, the US and 10 other countries, including South Korea, released a joint statement, condemning the North’s latest and test and lamenting the council for remaining “silent” to series of missile tests.
“We stand united today in condemning the DPRK’s March 5 launch of a ballistic missile. Like the 10 other ballistic missile launches since the beginning of the year, this act by the DPRK violated multiple Security Council resolutions,” US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said, reading a joint statement by 11 countries. “While the DPRK escalates its destabilizing actions, the Security Council continues to remain silent.”
DPRK stands for the North’s official name, the Democratic Republic of Korea.
“Each ballistic missile launch that results in inaction by the Council erodes the credibility of the UN Security Council itself in addressing the DPRK and undermines the global non-proliferation regime,” she said.
The statement was backed by the council members including the US, Albania, Brazil, France, Ireland, Norway and the UK, as well as countries not on the council, including Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.
“We call on all Council members to speak with one voice in condemning these dangerous and unlawful acts,” it said.
The US envoy stressed that Washington remained committed to seeking “serious and sustained” diplomacy with Pyongyang and have repeatedly offered dialogue without preconditions, but the North has failed to respond.
“Instead of embarking on a path of diplomacy and de-escalation, the DPRK has chosen to carry out an increasingly escalatory series of ballistic missile launches in violation of international law,” she said. “We stand ready to collaborate and determine a mutually agreeable approach with other council members to address the DPRK’s provocations.”
The countries reaffirmed their commitment to diplomacy for the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
“We urge Pyongyang to respond positively to outreach from the United States and others. We continue to call on the DPRK to choose the path of dialogue over instability and to prioritize the basic needs and human rights of its own people over its unlawful WMD and ballistic missile programs,” they said.
By Ahn Sung-mi (email@example.com