Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

UN strongly condemns North Korean missile launch after delay

UN strongly condemns North Korean missile launch after delay

Russian Federation objected to a Security Council statement proposed by the USA on Wednesday that would have condemned North Korea's missile tests, despite China's support of the measure, CBS News' Pamela Falk reports.

Koro Bessho, Japan's ambassador to the United Nations, lauded the agreement.

"We have said it as clearly as we can possibly say it: The ball is in their court".

"We did talk about wording; it took a little time", Bessho admitted.

Haley's comments followed President Donald Trump's recent statement that the USA wants peace — and that how much North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un also wants peace will be a deciding factor in easing tensions between the two countries.

The diplomats, who agreed to discuss the statement only on condition of anonymity because consultations have been private, said China had signed off on it.

The Trump administration is focusing its North Korea strategy on tougher sanctions, possibly including an oil embargo, a global ban on its airline, intercepting cargo ships and punishing Chinese banks doing business with Pyongyang, Reuters reported last week, citing USA officials.

It was the fifth time this year that the council has adopted a press statement on North Korea.

The US-drafted statement was agreed upon after Russian Federation insisted that language stressing the need to achieve a peaceful solution "through dialogue" was included in the final text.

Previous statements "welcomed efforts by council members, as well as other states, to facilitate a peaceful and comprehensive solution through dialogue".

"When we requested to restore the agreed language that was of political importance and expressed commitment to continue to work on the draft. the USA delegation without providing any explanations cancelled the work on the draft", the Russian U.N. mission said in a statement on Wednesday.

A USA official expressed frustration at Russia's dragging out the process and asserted that condemnation should have been immediate. Instead, it tested a missile Sunday, which was said to have failed.

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley stressed that the burden is on North Korea to prevent an escalation.

Earlier in the day on Wednesday, Haley told reporters, "It is important that North Korea know we are not trying to pick a fight, so don't try to give us one". The statement makes "very clear that we don't want to see testing or strikes, and if we have to start looking at sanctions or other actions, we will", she added.

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