China and Russia on Friday ignored a U.S. call for the U.N. Security Council to unite in condemning North Korea for its attempted satellite launch this week and instead blamed Washington for raising tensions on the Korean peninsula.
Robert Wood, a diplomat from Washington's U.N. mission, made the call at a U.N. Security Council meeting called by the United States and allies to discuss Wednesday's failed launch, which the U.S. said violated multiple U.N. resolutions because it used ballistic missile technology.
"We call on all council members to uphold the credibility of the council, join us in condemning this unlawful behavior and urge the DPRK to not follow through on its stated plan to conduct another launch that will further pose a threat to international peace and security," Wood said.
DPRK are the initials of North Korea's official name.
Following the launch, North Korea's Kim Yo Jong, the sister of leader Kim Jong Un, said her country would soon put a military spy satellite into orbit and vowed that Pyongyang would increase its military surveillance capabilities.
Chinese deputy permanant representative to the United Nations, Geng Shuang, told the U.N. meeting North Korea had "legitimate security concerns" and the Security Council should promote deescalation and not point the finger at one party.
Geng and Russia's permanent U.N. representative, Anna Evstigneeva, criticized the United States for raising tensions with joint miiltary execises with South Korea.
After Geng spoke, Wood took the floor again to note that "the representative the Chinese delegation did not at any point condemn this DPRK space launch."
Geng responded to this by saying there was a need for real dialog that took North Korea's concerns into account.
"The U.S. has been saying that door of diplomacy is open, but at the same time, they have been consistently doing military activities in the peninsula and surrounding areas," he said.
Lana Nusseibeh, ambassador of current Security Council chair the United Arab Emirates, noted that North Korea had given some advance warning of the launch, but added that "such warnings neither legitimize, nor minimize, the illegality of the DPRK's launch."
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said this week that any launch by Pyongyang using ballistic missile technology breaches Security Council resolutions.
Kim Yo Jong called criticisms of the launch a "self-contradiction" as the U.S. and other countries have already launched "thousands of satellites."
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