UNITED NATIONS, United States, March 21, 2023 (BSS/AFP) - The United States on Monday accused China and Russia of "encouraging" North Korean missile launches by thwarting a united response from the UN Security Council on the issue.
US ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield slammed Beijing and Moscow for refusing "to engage in good-faith diplomacy," and charged that their "obstructionism in the Council encourages North Korea to launch ballistic missiles with impunity."
"How many times must the DPRK violate its UN Security Council resolution obligations before China and Russia stop shielding the DPRK regime?" Thomas-Greenfield asked at a Council meeting, using an acronym for North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
Last May, China and Russia vetoed a resolution imposing new sanctions on Pyongyang.
The Security Council has not adopted any resolutions on the issue since, despite several missile launches by North Korea, the latest taking place over the weekend.
The Security Council last acted in unison on North Korea in 2017. Under then-president Donald Trump, Washington spearheaded three unanimous resolutions imposing three rounds of heavy economic sanctions on Pyongyang after missile and nuclear tests.
In a joint statement on Monday, nine members of the Council, including the United States, France, Japan and South Korea, denounced "an unprecedented number" of missile launches, saying the "growing crisis threatens not only the region but global peace and stability."
"The DPRK is testing the council's resolve and purpose and the Council must act," read the statement.
China and Russia reject any responsibility for the missile launches, saying that it is Washington's joint military exercises with South Korea that are to blame.