The 9th United Nations Security Council meeting since this year began was held to handle North Korea’s ballistic missile firing. However, opposition from two UNSC permanent members-China and Russia made it uncertain to impose additional North Korea sanctions.
South Korea and Japan condemned North Korea for posing a military threat in a UNSC emergency meeting held on Friday (local time) at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York, where they were invited as stakeholder countries with the United States and Britain in the permanent seat. The meeting was no different from the previous discussions on Pyongyang’s provocations held this year in that the two divided groups conflicted with each other, with Washington, Seoul, and Japan at odds with Beijing and Moscow on Pyongyang’s side.
South Korean Permanent Representative to the UN Hwang Joon-kook criticized that a silent UNSC only encourages North Korea to take reckless action, calling on the UNSC and the international community to send a grave warning that nuclear testing will only be met with solid countermeasures. He expressed regret that the resolution on North Korea sanctions failed to pass the council due to opposition from two permanent members this May, targeting China and Russia. Back then, they opposed sanctions to be imposed on holding North Korea accountable for intercontinental ballistic missile tests, leaving the meeting fruitless.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who convened the meeting on Friday, condemned in the strongest possible terms that North Korea recently carried out as many as 13 ballistic missiles after Oct. 27. She pointed an accusatory finger at China and Russia for making the UNSC an object of mockery. UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations Barbara Woodward also pointed out that the firing of missiles cost the regime millions of dollars, which could otherwise have been used to feed all North Korean residents for four weeks.
In response, Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations Zhang Jun called on the United States to stop escalating tension and instigating confrontation unilaterally, attributing North Korea’s provocations to strengthening the joint military drills between the United States and South Korea. Deputy Permanent Representative of Russia Anna Evstigneeva also argued that Pyongyang’s missile launches result from Washington’s narrow-sighted pursuit of confrontational military actions taken around the peninsula.
Assistant U.N. Secretary-General Mohamed Khaled Khiari stressed that the council opened as many as nine meetings to respond to North Korea this year. Although he called for the UNSC members to unite to find a diplomatic solution to escalating tensions around the Korean peninsula, China and Russia were never discouraged from siding with the regime and disrupting UNSC resolutions.
Hyoun-Soo Kim firstname.lastname@example.org