Russia Objects UN Statement That Condemns North Korea

The UN Security Council has strongly condemned a missile launch by North Korea on Sunday, amid rising tensions between the reclusive island state and the U.S.

The council said North Korea's illegal missile and nuclear activities "are greatly increasing tension in the region and beyond" and expressed "utmost concern" at its "highly destabilizing behavior and flagrant and provocative defiance" of six United Nations sanctions resolutions.

It would also demand an immediate end to the North's nuclear and missile tests, threaten to take "further significant measures" — United Nations code for new sanctions — and state that North Korea's illegal activities "are greatly increasing tension in the region and beyond". The ball is in their court.

"The members of the Security Council stressed that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's illegal ballistic-missile activities are contributing to its development of nuclear-weapons delivery systems and are greatly increasing tension in the region and beyond", the statement said. "I think we were able to get the right elements into it, and it was a very clear message, so I'm really happy that this has come out", he said.

The press statement was issued by U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley, who holds this month's rotating presidency.

"We believe that it is absolutely essential. that everybody is involved in order to make sure that everything is done so that the threat represented by the development in relation to missiles and in relation to nuclear capability - not become a threat to the global community", said Guterres. "They shouldn't try to play it at this point".

Russian Federation wanted to include language contained in previous statements and resolutions stressing the need to achieve a peaceful solution "through dialogue".

Diplomats who spoke on condition of anonymity appeared surprised that Russian Federation would block condemnation that China, Pyongyang's ally, had been willing to support.

Whether agreement can be reached on a statement remains to be seen.

North Korea will definitely be in the U.N. spotlight on April 28 when U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson presides at a Security Council meeting where U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will brief members on the North's nuclear program.

Ahead of the "Day of the Sun" on April 15, one of the biggest celebrations in the North Korean calendar, North Korea analysts said satellite images showed Pyongyang was "primed and ready" for a sixth nuclear test.

One diplomat said it was unlikely the Security Council would be able to resolve differences on the statement.

"We have said it as clearly as we can possibly say it".

"The U.K. supports that, 14 members of the Security Council support that".

  • Leroy Wright