The United States of America (USA) called this Monday for an urgent reform of the UN Security Council so that this body can respond in a “united” way to the launching of “destabilizing” ballistic missiles by North Korea.
At a meeting of the Security Council, the US ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said that “63 times this year North Korea has flagrantly violated the resolutions” of that body and “demonstrated total disregard for the security of the region “.
“How many more missiles must be launched before we respond as a unified Council?”, questioned the diplomatic representative, accusing the Pyongyang regime of acting with impunity and without fear of a response or reprisal from the Security Council, the UN’s highest body due to the its ability to pass binding resolutions.
“This is the tenth time we have met without significant action. The reason is simple: two Council members with veto power are empowering and encouraging North Korea,” Thomas-Greenfield said.
The US diplomat was referring to the veto power of Russia and China – two of the five permanent members of the Security Council and allies of North Korea -, which prevented several condemnatory resolutions in recent times.
Russia and China, according to the US ambassador, allowed the North Korean regime to carry out, last Friday, a test of an intercontinental range ballistic missile.
For Linda Thomas-Greenfield, such an action endangered the lives of Japanese civilians and unnecessarily increased tensions in the region.
“I have been holding meetings with UN Member States to hear their ideas on Security Council reform. And (…) when they talk about veto abuse, they are talking about cases exactly like this”, he said. .
In that regard, the United States has asked for a Security Council Presidential Statement to hold North Korea accountable for its missile tests.
“We will give the Council another opportunity to hold North Korea accountable for its dangerous rhetoric and destabilizing actions. The United States will propose a Presidential Declaration to this end,” he announced.
A Presidential Declaration is one made by the President of the Security Council on behalf of all member countries, adopted at a formal meeting and issued as an official document of that UN body, and is often created when the Council is unable to reach a consensus or is prevented from passing a resolution by a permanent member’s veto or threat of veto.
“Let me be clear: The US is committed to a diplomatic approach. We are prepared for a meeting without preconditions and I urge North Korea to engage in serious and sustained diplomacy. respond and instead chooses to continue this reckless behavior. Instead, the Board should respond,” concluded Thomas-Greenfield.
Last Friday, North Korea fired an intercontinental ballistic missile, which landed in the sea, in waters of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Japan. The missile launched by the Pyongyang regime had sufficient range to reach the US mainland.
The Security Council meeting is the third in the past two months to discuss Pyongyang’s missile launches.
China’s ambassador to the UN, Zhang Jun, took advantage of the meeting to defend that his country is “concerned” with the situation on the Korean peninsula, which he considers to be “in an upward spiral of growing tension and intensified confrontation”.
Zhang Jun said the US “should take the initiative, show sincerity, come up with realistic and workable proposals, respond positively to North Korea’s legitimate concerns, and turn the dialogue from a formality into a reality as soon as possible.”
For her part, the Deputy Permanent Representative of Russia, Anna Evstigneeva, expressed Moscow’s opposition “to any military activity that represents a threat to the security of the Korean peninsula and the states of Northeast Asia”.
However, he blamed the United States and its allies for the escalation of the situation.
“The US and allies hold large-scale military exercises in the region, North Korea reacts and we’ve gathered here to discuss this. (…) In our view, the reason for this is obvious — the desire to Washington to force Pyongyang into unilateral disarmament through sanctions and pressure,” the Russian diplomat said.
“We deeply regret that our Western colleagues have consistently ignored Pyongyang’s numerous appeals to the US to stop its hostile activity, which would have created opportunities for dialogue. The concessions made by Pyongyang in 2018 and 2019 were not taken into account,” he said. Evstigneeva.
Also at today’s meeting, UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs and Peacebuilding, Rosemary DiCarlo, provided more details on Pyongyang’s “alarming activities” related to nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.
“North Korea’s continued pursuit of its nuclear weapons program and ballistic missile launches blatantly violates relevant Security Council resolutions and has led to a significant escalation in tensions,” he said.
According to DiCarlo, North Korea “appears to be actively pursuing its nuclear program”, with the International Atomic Energy Agency observing activity there, as well as the “construction of nuclear facilities at Yongby” and the operation of a “reactor five-megawatt nuclear power plant”.
Some countries further criticized North Korea for spending funds on its missile program, ignoring the humanitarian needs of its people.
In connection with today’s meeting, Albania, Australia, Ecuador, France, Ireland, India, Japan, Malta, Norway, South Korea, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States released a joint statement, “supporting the need of the Council to condemn North Korea’s actions with a unified voice and take measures to limit illegal weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile advances”.