China and Russia on Friday ignored a US call for the UN Security Council to unite in condemning North Korea for its attempted satellite launch this week and instead blamed Washington for raising tensions on the Korean peninsula.
Mr Robert Wood, a diplomat from Washington’s UN mission, made the call at a UN Security Council meeting called by the United States and allies to discuss Wednesday’s failed launch. Washington said it violated multiple UN resolutions because it used ballistic missile technology.
“We call on all council members to uphold the credibility of the council, join us in condemning this unlawful behaviour and urge the DPRK to not follow through on its stated plan to conduct another launch that will further pose a threat to international peace and security,” he said. He was referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
Following the launch, Ms Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, said her country would soon put a military spy satellite into orbit and vowed that Pyongyang would increase its military surveillance capabilities.
China’s deputy permanent representative to the UN, Mr Geng Shuang, told the UN meeting that North Korea has “legitimate security concerns” and the Security Council should promote de-escalation and not point the finger at one party.
He and Russia’s deputy permanent UN representative Anna Evstigneeva criticised the US for raising tensions through joint military exercises with South Korea.
After Mr Geng spoke, Mr Wood took the floor again to note that “the representative from the Chinese delegation did not at any point condemn this DPRK space launch”.
Mr Geng responded to this by saying there is a need for dialogue that takes North Korea’s concerns into account.
“The US has been saying that the door of diplomacy is open, but at the same time, they have been consistently doing military activities in the peninsula and surrounding areas,” he noted.
Ms Lana Nusseibeh, ambassador of current Security Council chair the United Arab Emirates, said North Korea had given some advance warning of the launch, but added that “such warnings neither legitimise, nor minimise, the illegality of the DPRK’s launch”. (StraitsTimes)