The United States and its allies have clashed with China and Russia, accusing the pair of preventive measures taken by the United Nations Security Council against North Korea for its escalation of ballistic missiles.
The 15 members of the Security Council failed on Friday to approve a resolution condemning the recent nuclear bombardment by North Korea. Instead, several countries – including France, the United Kingdom and the US – isolated Pyongyang’s ongoing missile tests.
North Korea conducted a record number of missile launches this week, including an apparent intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), making all of the missiles accurate removed to more than 60 this year.
U.S. Secretary of the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said that 13 of the 15 Security Councils have condemned North Korea’s progress in missile tests since the beginning of the year but that Pyongyang is protected by two countries – China and Russia – although it is not named. they are direct.
The two countries have “backtracked” to prove repeated violations of UN sanctions by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), a US spokesman said, using North Korea’s name.
“And, in turn, they opened up to the DPRK and made a mockery of this council,” he added.
But China, North Korea’s closest ally, and Russia, whose relations with the West have been greatly affected by its attack on Ukraine, told the UN meeting that the US is to blame for the conflict with North Korea.
Two UN Security Council members have bent over backwards to testify to North Korea’s illegal weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs.
And, in turn, they have enabled North Korea.
This cannot stand. The danger to the land and the world is just too great. pic.twitter.com/1UEFWixB0b
— Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield (@USAmbUN) November 4, 2022
China’s UN Ambassador Zhang Jun argued that North Korea’s missile launch was directly linked to the resumption of major military exercises in the US and South Korea after a five-year hiatus, including air exercises. with hundreds of planes from both countries.
The Chinese Foreign Minister also pointed to the US Department of Defense’s recently published 2022 Nuclear Posture Review in which he said that considering North Korea’s use of nuclear weapons and that the death of the regime in Pyongyang is one of the US’s main goals.
Russia’s Deputy UN Ambassador Anna Evstigneeva blamed the worsening situation on South Korea for “Washington’s desire to force Pyongyang to disarm by using sanctions and exercises power and force”.
He called the US-South Korea military air exercise, which began on October 31, unprecedented in size with about 240 military aircraft and said that they are “an important part of the exercise to carry out a large-scale attack on the territory of the DPRK”.
In June, Evstigneeva called for the lifting of sanctions against North Korea, saying that the country needs more humanitarian aid and less violence from the West.
North Korea has defended its weapons program and its missile launches as a legitimate defense against what it sees as a decades-old threat from the US and its allies. South Korea.
The US Secretary of State responded to the Chinese and Russian representatives by saying: “This is nothing but a repetition of the DPRK’s propaganda”.
He added that the US and South Korean military action “does not pose a threat to anyone, let alone to the DPRK”.
“In contrast, just last month, the DPRK said that its recent attack was simulated using a nuclear warhead weapon to ‘destroy and eliminate’ the capabilities of the US and the Republic of Korea’s goal,” he said.
France’s ambassador to the UN, Nicolas de Riviere, called at the meeting on Friday for additional pressure on signs that North Korea is preparing for its seventh test of a nuclear bomb.
“The current escalation is unprecedented and these new acts of violence are unacceptable,” he said.
The U.N. Security Council imposed sanctions after North Korea’s first nuclear test in 2006 and tightened its decades-long effort to curb Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs and cut funding.
But, in May, China and Russia blocked a resolution that would have tightened sanctions on the missile, in the first major dispute at the council over sanctions. for North Korea.
UN Assistant Secretary-General Khaled Khiari warned that UN Security Council unity on North Korea is essential if it is to be achieved.
“The unity of the Security Council in this matter is important to resolve tensions, overcome the influence of politics and the vicious cycle-oppression,” Khiari said.
Al Jazeera’s Diplomatic Editor James Bays, reporting from New York, said the UN Security Council was clearly not united in its approach to North Korea.
“It is true that many members want to come up with a joint statement, an important statement condemning North Korea. But it seems that the statement cannot be negotiated because China and Russia have left against these words,” he said.