At UNSC: US, allies condemn N Korea's failed satellite launch, nuke bid; China, Russia defend

The unannounced launch on May 27 by North Korea of yet another reconnaissance satellite using new technology represents a violation of resolutions of the 15-member UN body and posed "a grave threat to peace and denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula," speakers warned the Security Council.


ANI | Updated: 01-06-2024 10:23 IST | Created: 01-06-2024 10:23 IST
At UNSC: US, allies condemn N Korea's failed satellite launch, nuke bid; China, Russia defend
North Korea's ambassador to UN, addresses Security Council meeting (Photo Credit UNSC). Image Credit: ANI
  • Country:
  • United States

The UN Security Council, which urgently convened a meeting on the recent failed bid by North Korea to launch a military spy satellite, remained split, with the US and allies Japan and South Korea clashing with China and Russia over Pyongyang's action. The US and its security allies criticized Pyongyang for attempting to launch a satellite-carrying rocket in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions, while Russia and China defended North Korea's action.

The unannounced launch on May 27 by North Korea of yet another reconnaissance satellite using new technology represents a violation of resolutions of the 15-member UN body and posed "a grave threat to peace and denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula," speakers warned the Security Council which convened the meeting on non-proliferation in Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPKR). North Korea had on May 27 said its attempt to launch a new satellite-carrying rocket failed due to a midair explosion. An earlier launch in November 2023 was successful and in December last year, Pyongyang announced that it plans to launch three more military satellites this year.

Briefing the 15-nation organ, Khaled Khiari, Assistant Secretary-General for the Middle East and Asia and the Pacific, noted that North Korea did not issue safety notifications to relevant international authorities, which represents a serious risk to international civil aviation and maritime traffic. While its recent launch failed, North Korea has significantly increased its missile launch activities since 2022, including more than 100 launches using ballistic missile technology, in violation of the relevant Security Council resolutions, he said.

Khiari briefed the council meeting saying that sovereign countries have the right to benefit from peaceful space activities - but North Korea is expressly prohibited from conducting launches using ballistic missile technology and its continuing violations undermine global nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation treaties. "We remain deeply concerned about growing tensions on the Korean Peninsula," Khiari said. "There is a need for practical measures to reduce tensions, reverse the dangerous dynamic, and create space to explore diplomatic avenues" he said.

Robert Wood, deputy US ambassador to the UNSC, told the session that Washington "condemns in the strongest possible terms" North Korea's attempt to put a satellite into Earth's orbit with a rocket using ballistic missile technology. The US delegate said that said the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is advancing its unlawful weapons programme at an alarming rate, while China and the Russian Federation, who block the Council from speaking against such behaviour with one voice, "make us all less safe".

The US envoy also called on Moscow and Beijing and other influential council members that have veto rights, to cooperate so the panel can adopt a measure against North Korea. Japan's delegate expressed regret that the "Council was compelled to silence the Panel of Experts" due to a veto by the same permanent member who has been using weapons in Ukraine procured from North Korea.

South Korea's representative Ambassador Hwang Joon-kook said that Pyongyang is wasting money on "expensive fireworks", and the estimated cost of launching a satellite is equivalent to several months' worth of food for the country's entire population. Spotlighting the newly developed technology at use in the launch and reports of Russian experts visiting North Korea, he wondered if this amounted to a technology transfer.

However, Anna Evstigneeva, the deputy Russian ambassador, defended the launch, saying North Korea is "provoked to take countermeasures: due to military drills by the United States and its allies near the Korean Peninsula. "This unstable situation benefits Washington, DC, which deliberately pursues the path of confrontation," she said. She also expressed concern over contradictory signals from the United States' allies - Tokyo and Seoul - regarding "so-called strengthened cooperation with Washington, DC, in the nuclear sphere. Russia's delegate further rejected the unfounded accusations of Moscow's legal and military cooperation with North Korea citing the assertion that it uses Pyongyang's missiles in its special military operation in Ukraine as "untrue". North Korean ambassador Kim Song in his remarks at the session said that the Security Council is "repeating anachronistic and shameful practice of taking issue with the launch of the satellite, which belonged to legitimate and universal rights of sovereign state."

Chinese Ambassador Fu Cong said it is imperative all parties adopt a rational and practical approach, swiftly resume dialogue, act calmly and not intensify tensions. He expressed concern about a planned US joint military exercise on the peninsula planned for August practiscing a nuclear war scenario. "China opposes the plan," he said. He also condemned the United States' military exercises in the Asia-Pacific area and its attempts to establish "unilateral military superiority" in the region. The representative of the United Kingdom said the fourth launch of a military satellite by North Korea violated UNSC resolutions and recklessly endangered Japanese civilians.

The US envoy also detailing evidence said that North Korea has also unlawfully transferred dozens of ballistic missiles and over 11,000 containers of munitions to aid Moscow's war against Ukraine. "No wonder Russia vetoed the 1718 Committee Panel of Experts mandate renewal in March," he said, rejecting claims that Pyongyang's missile launches are "merely a response to our bilateral and trilateral military exercises", US Deputy UN Ambassador Robert Wood said. Refuting the refrain that "sanctions do not work", he emphasized that North Korea's dire humanitarian situation "is of the country's own making", as its repressive political climate allows the government to divert its resources to weapons development. (ANI)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Give Feedback