China blames the volatility of US policies for the renewed tensions, while Washington questions whether Beijing and Moscow prefer their relations over global security.
China and Russia accused the United States of stoking tensions on the Korean peninsula during a historic meeting held to explain their decisions to veto new global sanctions over Pyongyang’s launch of renewable ballistic missiles.
Zhang Jun, China’s ambassador to the United Nations, told the General Assembly on Wednesday that tension on the peninsula “has developed into what it is today, mainly due to the volatility of US policies.”
He urged Washington to take action and called for sanctions to be lifted.
There are many things that the United States can do, such as easing sanctions on them [North Korea] In certain regions, the termination of joint military exercises [with South Korea]. “The key is to take action, not just talk about its willingness to talk without preconditions,” Zhang said.
Moscow’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations, Anna Evsteneeva, also called for the sanctions to be lifted.
She said North Korea needs more humanitarian aid and the West should stop blaming Pyongyang for the tensions.
Wednesday’s session of the 193-member United Nations General Assembly was the first in which the permanent members of the Security Council have to explain their use of the veto, a step required by a resolution adopted by the world organization on April 26.
China and Russia’s veto of North Korea last month led to an open split in the UN Security Council for the first time since it began punishing Pyongyang with sanctions in 2006.
Speaking for the US, Deputy Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis dismissed the accusations of China and Russia and questioned whether Beijing and Moscow had elevated their “borderless” strategic partnership above global security by vetoing North Korean sanctions.
“We hope this veto is not a reflection of that partnership,” DiLaurentis said, addressing the General Assembly after China and Russia.
Their explanations for exercising the veto were inadequate, unreliable and unconvincing. The veto was not used to serve our collective safety and security.”
He added that the current sanctions and proposals for new measures come in direct response to North Korea’s actions, and said that the United States has repeatedly tried to restart talks, and sent public and private messages, but did not receive a response.
Right to reply later on Wednesday, Chinese diplomat Wu Jianjian said Beijing flatly rejected “obvious comments and accusations against China’s position in the vote.”
“China’s vote against the draft resolution submitted by the United States was completely reasonable and justified,” Wu said. “Continuing to increase sanctions against the DPRK will only increase the possibility of a political solution,” he said, referring to North Korea by its official name.
North Korea has carried out dozens of ballistic missile launches this year, including ICBMs known as ICBMs, after breaching a self-imposed moratorium on tests in 2018 after leader Kim Jong Un met then US President Donald Trump.
South Korean President Yoon Seok-yeol, who took office on May 10, agreed with US President Joe Biden at a summit last month to increase joint military exercises to deter North Korea. Since then, the South Korean and US militaries have compared each North Korean test with displays of force that they say are aimed at demonstrating their ability and willingness to respond to any North Korean provocations.
The two countries also warned that North Korea was preparing to conduct a seventh nuclear test, with the United States saying it would push again for UN sanctions if they were conducted.
North Korea has defended its development of ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons as protection against “direct threats” from the United States – a claim Washington denies.
Pyongyang’s ambassador, Kim Sung, stressed that the articles of the United Nations Charter “clearly state that every state has the inherent rights of individual or collective self-defence.”
“The measures taken by the DPRK to enhance national defense capabilities are an inevitable choice to counter anti-US threats within the scope of self-defense rights,” he said.