The South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Thursday expressed “deep regret” at dissent among United Nations Security Council (UNSC) members over a U.S.-drafted statement condemning North Korea’s failed ballistic missile test on Sunday.
“Our government finds it extremely regrettable that the UN Security Council didn’t show a united response to North Korea’s provocation of launching a ballistic missile – a flagrant violation of the UN Security Council resolutions – due to the different views among the UNSC members,” an official at MOFA – who wished to remain anonymous – told NK News.
But MOFA declined to confirm who had derailed the proposed UNSC statement, saying the Republic of Korea (ROK) was not in a position to name names as it is not one of 15 members of the Council.
The DPRK missile launch was the second time this month the North conducted a missile test. North Korea launched a projectile into the East Sea on April 4 Washington time, which according to PACOM, flew 60 km and was a test of a KN-15 medium range ballistic missile.
The Russian Permanent Mission to the UN on Wednesday dismissed reports that Russia was responsible for the failure of the statement in a written statement.
“We have been quite surprised by media reports that the Russian delegation allegedly ‘blocked’ the draft UN Security Council press statement,” the Russian Mission to the UN said.
The Russian mission argued that the draft – introduced by the U.S. Mission to the UN on Wednesday – had been changed after the two countries had agreed on the statement.
“We took note that the proposed text contained some language that was not previously agreed in the standard press statements on the condemnation of DPRK’s missile launches,” the Permanent Mission of Russia to the UN said, without revealing what words had been added by the U.S. delegation.
“In particular, the penholder deleted the words ‘through dialogue’ in the context of denuclearization and peaceful solution on the Korean Peninsula…”
The Russian mission said the phrase had been taken from operative paragraph 48 of the UNSC Resolution 2321, which was unanimously adopted on November 30, 2016.
According to paragraph 48, the UNSC “welcomes efforts by Council members as well as other States to facilitate a peaceful and comprehensive solution through dialogue.”
The Russian mission to the UN argued that they had requested the U.S. delegation “restore the agreed language that was of political importance” and “expressed commitment to continue to work on the draft.”
But the mission accused the U.S. delegation of “canceling work on the draft” without providing “any explanation” as well as of falsely claiming that Russia had “blocked the statement.”
Dr. Andrei Lankov of the Seoul-based Kookmin University said it is “natural” for Russia not to want to increase pressure on the North while tensions on the peninsula remain high.
“Obviously, the U.S. wanted a tough statement, adding new words which haven’t been used before. Russia doesn’t really want the escalation of the conflict and isn’t going to closely cooperate with the U.S. after the bombing of Syria – an attack against Russian allies,” Lankov told NK News.
“It’s not seen as an efficient way to solve the problem, and cooperation with the U.S. is now, seemingly, almost impossible.”
Featured image: UN Photo
Edited by Oliver Hotham
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Featured Image: security council by skunks on 2006-09-28 13:00:24