Published time: 20 Apr, 2017 08:22
A US-sponsored draft of UN Security Council statement condemning Pyongyang’s missile test, which some media claimed had been blocked by Russia, was actually withdrawn by Washington after a wording disagreement, Moscow said.
The statement was to condemn the latest failed ballistic missile test by North Korea, but failed to get through the top security body on Wednesday.
“Russia is slowing this down, and it is not clear why,” an unnamed diplomat apparently familiar with the negotiations told CBS News. “The US wanted to get the message out.”
According to the office of the Russian envoy to the UN, there was indeed disagreement over the draft statement, because the US had failed to mention “dialogue” as the path towards settling the conflict over the North Korean missile program.
“This wording is a quote from paragraph 48 of the latest UNSC Resolution 2321, which imposed sanctions against DPRK [North Korea] and was unanimously passed by the Council in 2016. The wording didn’t cause any doubts from the American delegation previously,” the Russian statement said.
Russia considers the mentioning of dialogue “politically important” in this case and insisted on including it in the statement.
“The US delegation stopped the work on the document without any explanation and claimed to the media that Russia had ‘blocked’ it,” the Russian delegation said.
The failed test last Saturday came amid a period of high tension, as US apparently tried to pressure Pyongyang to forego its nuclear and missile programs under threat of military intervention.
The escalation comes as Washington took tougher stance on several high-profile international issues, including the Syrian conflict, the situation in North Korea and Iran’s nuclear deal. The grandstanding seems to have improved the approval rating of the Trump administration, which suffered amid criticism of its domestic policies in the first months of the presidency.