S.Korea Treads Softly on N.Korea Missile Condemnation

  • By Lee Yong-soo

    February 07, 2022 11:52

    South Korea has declined for the third time this year to co-sponsor a U.S.-led joint UN statement condemning North Korea's missile provocations.

    Eight members of the UN Security Council plus Japan issued a joint statement last Friday condemning Pyongyang for the launch of a Hwasong-12 mid-range ballistic missile "in the strongest terms."

    The U.S. brought the eight other like-minded countries together for a joint press conference to issue the statement as it became impossible to adopt a UNSC resolution to put pressure on the North Korean regime due to the resistance from Chin and Russia, but South Korea was conspicuously absent.

    The North has fired 11 missiles of various kinds on seven occasions since early this year, and the U.S. has called for an emergency UNSC meeting three times. Each meeting ended with China and Russia blocking discussion of fresh sanctions against the North.

    Instead, the U.S. pushed through a joint statement co-sponsored by six countries on Jan. 10, a second statement by eight countries on Jan. 20, and the third by nine countries last Friday.

    Meanwhile the foreign ministers of the 10 member states of ASEAN, including the North's traditional allies Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, also issued a joint statement condemning the North's missile launches, expressing "grave concerns" and urging Pyongyang to comply with all UNSC resolutions.

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