China, Russia irresponsible for allowing N. Korea’s uncontrollable behavior

It makes no sense to defend North Korea’s repeated military provocations and shift the blame to the United States. China and Russia should be aware of their roles as major powers and prevent Pyongyang from running amok.

North Korea has once again launched two ballistic missiles, conducting tests at an unprecedented pace of once every two days since late September. It is widely believed that Pyongyang is rushing to establish its nuclear and missile technology.

The U.N. Security Council held an emergency session in response to an Oct. 4 launch of a North Korean missile that flew over Japan. It was during that meeting that the latest launches occurred.

North Korea’s repeated military actions, which it takes without regard to the Security Council, stem from the irresponsible responses of Security Council permanent members China and Russia.

The United States and other countries sought to release a press statement condemning North Korea at the emergency meeting, but this did not materialize due to opposition from China and Russia.

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations accused China and Russia of “enabling” the behavior of North Korea, which has “blanket protection from two members of this council.” China and Russia countered that it was obvious that Pyongyang’s missile launches are the result of U.S. military action against North Korea.

Joint military drills and security cooperation among Japan, the United States and South Korea are solely intended to maintain regional stability, in response to North Korea’s provocations. China and Russia’s argument lacks persuasiveness: It simply repeats Pyongyang’s claim in its entirety.

Without the cooperation of China and Russia, 11 countries including Japan, South Korea and nine Security Council members, such as the United States, India and European nations, issued a joint statement condemning Pyongyang’s missile launches.

Japan, the United States and South Korea must continue to play a leading role in dealing with North Korean issues. It is necessary to persistently emphasize the importance of maintaining pressure on North Korea and correct the sophistry of both China and Russia.

When North Korea has launched ballistic missiles in the past, China and Russia have supported Security Council sanctions resolutions and statements of condemnation. However, the current attitude of China and Russia is not the same as it has been in the past, which is emboldening North Korea.

Analysis of satellite photos and other data has also confirmed signs that North Korea is preparing to conduct its seventh nuclear test. The international community needs to deal resolutely with acts that threaten regional stability.

In response to the series of missile launches, the U.S. and South Korean militaries conducted a drill to launch surface-to-surface missiles. The U.S. military sent a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to the Sea of Japan off the coast of South Korea, following a mission in late September. This can be said to indicate that the United States remains committed to peace and stability in Asia.

North Korea is developing new types of weapons, including missiles that fly on irregular trajectories. Japan, the United States and South Korea need to work together to be ready to intercept them.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 7, 2022)