11:09 May. 4, 2016
Russia's Representative to the U.N. says South Korea and U.S. should scale down their military activity in the region
A United Nations Security Council condemnation of North Korea's latest missile tests has been delayed by Russian amendments to a statement that had been agreed by the remaining 14 members, including Pyongyang's ally China, diplomats said on Tuesday (May 3).
North Korea test-fired what appeared to be two intermediate-range ballistic missiles on Thursday (May 3), but both failed. China's U.N. Ambassador Liu Jieyi, president of the U.N. Security Council last month, said the body was working on a response.
"The Security Council needs to respond swiftly; so we don't understand why Russia is blocking while all other council members, including China, which borders DPRK (North Korea), can agree," Britain's Deputy U.N. Ambassador Peter Wilson said.
Russian U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said on Monday that Moscow had added "some very valuable input" to the draft council statement that the United States was considering "unhappily."
"We need to call a spade and we think that asking for the interested parties to scale down their military activity in the region is very important," Churkin said, referring to moves by the United States and South Korea.
Russia and China on Friday (April 29) called on the United States not to install a new anti-missile system in South Korea, after Washington said it was in talks with Seoul following North Korea's nuclear arms and missile tests.
The North routinely threatens to destroy South Korea and the United States.