UNSC Fails to Act in Unison over N. Korea’s Satellite Launch

REUTERS file photo
The flag of North Korea is seen in Geneva, Switzerland, June 20, 2017.

NEW YORK (Jiji Press) — The U.N. Security Council at an emergency meeting Monday failed to take concerted action against North Korea’s recent launch of a military reconnaissance satellite due to opposition by China and Russia.

Of the 15 members of the powerful U.N. body, 13 countries, including Japan and the United States, criticized Pyongyang’s satellite launch Tuesday using ballistic missile technology as a violation of relevant Security Council resolutions, while China and Russia came to the defense of North Korea.

At the meeting, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said a North Korean reconnaissance satellite has been confirmed in orbit around Earth.

She then said North Korea “is unabashedly trying to advance its nuclear weapons delivery systems by testing ballistic missile technology in clear violation of this Council’s resolutions.”

Kimihiro Ishikane, Japan’s ambassador to the United Nations, said, “We should not be deceived by any attempt to justify North Korea’s ambition to pursue unlawful weapons of mass destruction programs.” He urged the Security Council to be united on nonproliferation matters.

Most participants of the meeting called for the Security Council to take action against North Korea’s violations.

Concerns were also raised that Russia may have provided technology to North Korea in exchange for receiving weapons used for the invasion of Ukraine. A representative of Russia denied such an allegation, saying that the country abides by its international obligations, and blamed the United States for escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula.