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US condemned China’s support to North Korea at UN over missile launches

The United States and its allies have clashed with China and Russia, accusing the pair of obstructing the UN Security Council from taking action against North Korea over its escalating ballistic missile launches.

The 15 members of the UN Security Council failed to agree on a joint statement Friday condemning the recent ballistic missile fire from North Korea. Instead, a number of countries – including France, the UK and the US – have separately condemned Pyongyang’s ongoing missile tests.

North Korea this week carried out a record number of missile launches, including an apparent intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), bringing the total number of missile launches this year to more than 60.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield said 13 of the 15 members of the Security Council had condemned North Korea’s escalating ballistic missile launches since the beginning of the year, but that Pyongyang was protected by two countries — China and Russia — although she did not name them. it is direct.

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The two countries have “bent over themselves” to justify repeated violations of UN sanctions by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), the US ambassador said, using North Korea’s official name.

“And in return they enabled the DPRK and made a mockery of this advice,” she added.

But China, North Korea’s closest ally, and Russia, whose relations with the West have seriously soured over the invasion of Ukraine, told the UN meeting that the US was to blame for continued tensions with North Korea.

China’s UN ambassador Zhang Jun countered that the North Korean missile launches were directly related to the resumption of large-scale US-South Korean military exercises after a five-year hiatus, including air force exercises involving hundreds of warplanes from both countries.

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The Chinese ambassador also pointed to the US Department of Defense’s recently released 2022 Nuclear Posture Review, which he said foresees the use of nuclear weapons by North Korea and that the demise of the Pyongyang regime is one of the main US goals.

Deputy Russian ambassador to the UN Anna Evstigneeva blamed the significantly worsening situation on the Korean Peninsula on “Washington’s desire to force Pyongyang to unilaterally disarm through sanctions and exerting pressure and force.”

It called the US-South Korean military air drills, which began on Oct. 31, unprecedented in size with about 240 military aircraft and claimed they were “essentially a practice exercise to carry out massive strikes on DPRK territory.”

In June, Evstigneeva called for the lifting of sanctions against North Korea, saying the country needed more humanitarian aid and less pressure from the West.

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North Korea has defended its weapons program and ballistic missile launches as a legitimate means of defense against what it sees as a decades-old threat from the US and its ally South Korea.

The US ambassador responded to the Chinese and Russian envoys by saying, “This is nothing more than a regurgitation of DPRK propaganda”.

She added that the U.S. and South Korean military exercises “pose no threat to anyone, let alone the DPRK.”

“In contrast, just last month the DPRK said its flurry of recent launches was a simulated battlefield use of tactical nuclear weapons to ‘hit and destroy’ potential US and ROK targets,” she said.

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French UN Ambassador Nicolas de Riviere called for continued pressure at a meeting on Friday amid signs that North Korea is preparing for its seventh nuclear bomb test.

“The current escalation is unprecedented and these new provocations are unacceptable,” he said.

The UN Security Council imposed sanctions after North Korea’s first nuclear test in 2006 and has tightened them over the years in an effort to rein in Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs and cut off funding.

But in May, China and Russia blocked a resolution that would have tightened sanctions for the missile launches, in the first serious rift in the council over sanctions against North Korea.

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UN Under-Secretary-General Khaled Khiari has warned that UN Security Council unity on North Korea is essential if progress is to be made.

“The unity of the Security Council on this matter is necessary to ease tensions, overcome the diplomatic impasse and the negative cycle of action-reaction,” Khiari said.

“Certainly many members would like to come up with a joint statement, a strong statement condemning North Korea. But it seems that such a declaration cannot be negotiated because China and Russia are against such a declaration,” he said.

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