WASHINGTON -- South Korea's top representative to the UN on Wednesday called on North Korea to stop its provocative activities and engage in dialogue.
Amb. Cho Hyun made the remarks in a UN General Assembly meeting in New York to discuss the recent failure of the UN Security Council to pass a resolution regarding North Korea.
"We are here today to debate the outcome of the Security Council meeting held on May 26. It is with deep regret that the Security Council, for the first time in handling the DPRK's nuclear and ballistic missile programs since 2006, has failed to respond to the DPRK's serious provocations," Cho told the meeting, according to a transcript of his remarks released later by the South Korean mission to the world body.
"We urge the DPRK to stop such provocative actions, abide by all relevant Security Council Resolutions, and respond to the call for dialogue and peace on the Korean Peninsula through complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization," he added.
DPRK stands for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, North Korea's official name.
Wednesday's meeting came after China and Russia vetoed a Security Council resolution that sought to impose additional UN sanctions on North Korea for Pyongyang's recent missile tests, effectively blocking the US-proposed resolution.
North Korea has so far fired 31 ballistic missiles in 18 rounds of missile tests, already marking the largest number of ballistic missiles fired in a single year, according to the US state department.
UN representatives from both Beijing and Moscow argued the proposed resolution, if enacted, would have further deteriorated humanitarian conditions in the North.
They instead insisted on the need to ease or remove existing UN sanctions on North Korea.
Cho urged Security Council members to fulfill their responsibility.
"My delegation would like to stress that when we debate the role of the Security Council, we should stay focused on this specific goal: to recall that UN Member States have conferred on the Security Council primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security and urge the Council to fulfill its responsibilities," said the South Korean diplomat.
"In this regard, let us collectively urge, help, and guide the Security Council to function properly, in particular on the matter of the DPRK," he added. (Yonhap)