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UN strongly condemns North Korean missile launch after delay

UN strongly condemns North Korean missile launch after delay

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.

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

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

A Security Council diplomat familiar with the negotiations confirmed that the draft press statement was approved by China, the North's closest ally, as well as the other permanent members of the Security Council.

Guterres said countries "on the frontline" of the crisis - China, the United States, Japan, South Korea, Russia - must spare no effort to prevent a military buildup from Pyongyang.

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.

But Russia's deputy ambassador Petr Iliichev told reporters Thursday morning that the USA acted in an "abrupt manner" and insisted that Moscow didn't block the statement and was open to discussions.

The 15-member Security Council traditionally condemns all launches by Pyongyang.

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The Russians, however, disputed the characterization of their objection as "blocking".

Russian Federation wanted to include language contained in previous statements and resolutions stressing the need to achieve a peaceful 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 with the penholder, the USA delegation without providing any explanations canceled the work on the draft, claiming that is was Russia who had "blocked" the statement", the Russian statement read.

A USA official expressed frustration at Russia's dragging out the process and asserted that condemnation should have been immediate.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley has a message for North Korea: "We're not trying to pick a fight so don't try and give us one".

"At the end of the day we realized that North Korea is a problem", Haley said.

The North conducted two nuclear bomb tests and 24 ballistic missile tests last year, defying six Security Council sanctions resolutions banning any testing, and it has conducted additional missile tests this year, including one on Saturday that failed.


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