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The United States and its allies clash with China and Russia over North Korea’s nuclear weapons launches and threats

This photo provided by the North Korean government shows a tactical ballistic missile test from an undisclosed location in North Korea on May 17, 2024.

This photo provided by the North Korean government shows a tactical ballistic missile test from an undisclosed location in North Korea on May 17, 2024. Photo credit: AP

On May 31, the United States and its allies South Korea and Japan clashed with China and Russia over North Korea’s latest satellite and ballistic missile launches and threats to use nuclear weapons, escalating tensions in Northeast Asia.

The scene followed an emergency public meeting of the United Nations Security Council. North Korea failed to launch military reconnaissance satellite on May 27 and other launches using ballistic missile technology in violation of United Nations sanctions.

Since early 2022, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has launched more than 100 missiles using this banned technology while advancing its nuclear weapons program. In response, the United States and its allies have conducted an increasing number of military exercises.

United Nations Assistant Secretary-General Khaled Chiari told the Security Council meeting that sovereign states have the right to benefit from peaceful space activities, but North Korea is explicitly prohibited from using ballistic missile technology for launches, and its continued violations undermine global nuclear disarmament. and the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

“We remain deeply concerned about the growing tensions on the Korean peninsula,” Mr Kyari said. “Concrete steps are needed to reduce tensions, reverse dangerous dynamics and create space for diplomatic avenues to be explored.”

right of self-defense

North Korea’s UN ambassador Kim Song insists its satellite launch – and it has Success last November – is the “legitimate and universal right of sovereign states” stipulated in international law and the Outer Space Treaty. He emphasized that reconnaissance satellites are not only to strengthen self-defense capabilities, but also to defend sovereignty.

Kim Jong Un told the Security Council that the United States’ “large-scale deployment of strategic assets and aggressive war exercises” on the Korean peninsula and the region had broken all records and disrupted the military balance.

He said that this made the Korean Peninsula “the most vulnerable region in the world, full of dangers of war,” and claimed that this year’s joint military exercises were “a rehearsal for a nuclear war led by the United States.”

The North Korean ambassador said the Security Council should not waste time discussing the legitimate rights of sovereign states and should instead focus on an immediate end to nuclear weapons on the Korean peninsula. Gaza civilians killed“With the support of the United States, this situation continues unabated.”

South Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations, Hwang Jung-kook, said it was South Korea, not North Korea, that advocated the right to self-defense. He said North Korea’s nuclear policy and its rhetoric were “becoming increasingly aggressive and hostile” and that Pyongyang no longer viewed its nuclear arsenal as a deterrent against the United States “but as a means of attacking our country.”

He quoted North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s sister Kim Yo Jong as saying two weeks ago that the only purpose of their tactical nuclear weapons “is to teach Seoul a lesson.”

Confrontation escalates

U.S. Deputy Ambassador Robert Wood urged the Security Council to condemn North Korea’s launches and hold it accountable for violating U.N. sanctions. “But two Security Council members, China and Russia, continue to prevent the Security Council from speaking with one voice against North Korea’s actions, which makes us all less safe,” he said.

Wood also accused North Korea of ​​illegally transferring dozens of ballistic missiles and more than 11,000 containers of ammunition to Russia to aid its war in Ukraine, “prolonging the suffering of the Ukrainian people.” He dismissed as “baseless” and dishonest claims by North Korea and its Security Council supporters that the missile launches were in response to U.S.-led military drills.

Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Anna Evstineva, countered that “one of the key catalysts for growing tensions in the region has been and remains the intensified military activity of the United States and its allies.”

She said U.S.-led military exercises against North Korea and many other hostilities with a threatening military component “are triggering countermeasures from North Korea, which is forcing it to take action to strengthen its defense capabilities.”

Yevstineva claimed that “instability on the Korean peninsula is beneficial to Washington, which continues to confidently and deliberately follow the path of confrontation rather than dialogue.” She also refuted claims that Russia has illegal military and technical cooperation with North Korea. , calling it “baseless.”

Fu Cong, China’s ambassador to the United Nations, said the situation on the Korean peninsula is “highly tense, with antagonism and confrontation constantly escalating,” and called on all parties to exercise restraint and avoid any actions or remarks that may aggravate tensions. He warned that large-scale joint military exercises planned for August on the peninsula “rehearsing scenarios involving nuclear war” would only exacerbate tensions.

Wood countered that “the United States in no way poses a threat to North Korea” and stressed that the United States’ proposals in the past few years to hold talks with North Korea “with open hands” and without preconditions “have been met.”

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