US slams UNSC 'silence' on DPRK missiles as 'worse than shameful'
Despite denouncing "lack of action," the US itself has been recently delaying a draft resolution calling on the Israeli occupation to "immediately and completely cease" settlement activities in the occupied West Bank.
The United States on Monday denounced what it described as a "dangerous" lack of action by the United Nations Security Council on the missile launches carried by the DRPK, accusing -- but not naming -- China and Russia of having "forced" the body "into silence".
The DPRK test-fired dozens of missiles in 2022. It fired two ballistic missiles Monday, 48 hours after testing an intercontinental ballistic missile.
"In the face of unprecedented launches last year, two permanent members forced us into silence in spite of countless DPRK (North Korean) violations," Washington's UN Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said, referring to vetoes by China and Russia last May of a resolution that would have imposed new sanctions against Pyongyang.
"On this vital matter, silence leads to irrelevance," Thomas-Greenfield pointed out at an emergency meeting of the Security Council.
The 15-member panel's "lack of action is worse than shameful. It is dangerous," she claimed, saying the "repeated failures to respond emboldens the DPRK" to conduct such launches.
"The reality is that those who shield the DPRK from the consequences of its escalatory missile tests put the Asian region, and entire world, at risk of conflict," Thomas-Greenfield claimed.
She claimed that thanks to sanctions approved by the Security Council in 2017, Pyongyang "refrained from any major provocations for nearly five years" and engaged in dialogue with the West.
The US envoy pointed out that even if permanent members of the Security Council continue to block action, Washington will nevertheless propose adopting a statement condemning the DPRK launches.
Despite denouncing "lack of action," the US itself has been recently delaying a draft resolution calling on the Israeli occupation to "immediately and completely cease" settlement activities in the occupied West Bank, as per UN diplomats, with the White House saying it was "deeply dismayed" by the Israeli plans, in a clear act of double standards.
In the same context, several other members echoed the US criticism of the UNSC over Pyongyang's missile launches.
"If we remain silent for fear of further provocations, that will only encourage rule breakers to write the playbook as they like," Japan's UN Ambassador Ishikane Kimihiro said.
"We have to face facts: the current escalation is dangerous," France's Nicolas de Riviere added.
The question is simple, he said, "Can this council accept that North Korea becomes a nuclear state?"
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Russia points finger at joint US-South Korea military exercises
On its part, Russia pointed the finger at joint US-South Korean military exercises for the escalation, with the country's Deputy Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy saying, the "United States and its allies have special responsibility in this situation."
"Constant Security Council meetings on North Korea issues in a situation where individual members of the council are not ready for constructive dialogue and only want to criticize DPRK are not conducive to resolving the situation," indicated Polyanskiy.
On Friday, a spokesperson for the DPRK's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the US has been turning the Korean Peninsula into a military base, accusing the Security Council of failing to act.
It is noteworthy that the Security Council's last display of unity on the issue came in 2017. Under the administration of then-president Donald Trump, the US led the council to adopt three resolutions imposing sanctions on Pyongyang after missile and nuclear tests.
Read more: South Korean defense paper dubs DPRK 'enemy', again