UN fails to condemn NKorea missile tests

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UNITED NATIONS, United States: The UN Security Council failed to agree on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila) on a statement condemning North Korea’s launch of a missile that landed near Japan after China sought to include language opposing the US missile defense system in South Korea.

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The United States had circulated a draft statement that strongly condemned the August 2 launch and expressed particular concern that the ballistic missile landed near Japan.

China proposed adding that “all relevant parties shall avoid taking any actions which could provoke each other and escalate tensions, and shall not deploy any new anti-ballistic missile stronghold in Northeast Asia with an excuse of dealing with threats of the DPRK nuclear and missile programs,” according to a draft obtained by Agence France-Presse.

US Ambassador Samantha Power called for a “strong, swift response from the Security Council” following an emergency meeting last week to discuss the latest missile test.

Power had said that the US agreement with South Korea to deploy the THAAD missile defense system was “purely defensive” and in response to North Korea’s drive to refine its capabilities.

China, Pyongyang’s closest ally, had sought to delete from the text a sentence expressing concern that the missile “impacted near Japan.”

Diplomats said negotiations on the council statement, which must be agreed by consensus, had reached a dead end.

It was the second time in two months that the council has been unable to agree on condemnation of North Korea, due to objections from China.

The council last adopted a statement condemning North Korea for two medium-range missile tests on June 23.

North Korea has been hit by five sets of UN sanctions since it first tested an atomic device in 2006.

The council in March adopted its toughest sanctions resolution to date, banning exports of coal, iron and other minerals from North Korea and imposing other restrictions, in particular in the banking sector.

AFP

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