North Korea’s ambassador blames US for regional tensions in a rare appearance at UN Security Council

Jul 13, 2023, 9:31 PM

North Korean Ambassador to the United Nations Kim Song addresses a Security Council meeting on Non-...

North Korean Ambassador to the United Nations Kim Song addresses a Security Council meeting on Non-proliferation/North Korea, Thursday, July 13, 2023 at United Nations headquarters. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — North Korea’s U.N. ambassador defended his country’s recent long-range missile launch in a rare appearance at the U.N. Security Council on Thursday where he also accused the United States of driving the situation in northeast Asia “to the brink of nuclear war.”

Kim Song told the council that Wednesday’s test-flight of the developmental nuclear threats and deploying a nuclear-powered submarine to South Korea for the first time in 14 years.

Kim said the missile launch had “no negative effect on the security of a neighboring country,” pointing to Japan’s announcement that the ICBM — which flew at a steep angle — landed in the North’s waters outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

South Korea’s U.N. Ambassador Hwang Joon-kook countered, asking: “How can an ICBM launch ever make neighboring countries appear safe?”

Diplomats said Kim’s appearance was the first time a North Korean diplomat addressed the Security Council since 2017.

Hwang said each of North Korea’s repeated ballistic missile launches allow the country to advance its technology toward its goal of having an arsenal of nuclear-armed weapons.

Immediately before the meeting, a statement from nine council members including the U.S. and Japan, joined by South Korea, was read to reporters condemning the launch “in the strongest possible terms” and stressing that it was the 20th ballistic missile launch this year in blatant violation of multiple Security Council resolutions banning such tests.

The Security Council imposed sanctions after North Korea’s first nuclear test explosion in 2006 and tightened them over the years in a total of 10 resolutions seeking — so far unsuccessfully — to cut funds and curb its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

The last sanctions resolution was adopted by the council in December 2017, and China and Russia vetoed a U.S.-sponsored resolution in May 2022 that would have imposed new sanctions over a spate of intercontinental ballistic missile launches.

The two veto-wielding permanent members have blocked any council action including statements to the media since then.

The statement by the 10 countries said the Security Council cannot remain silent in the face of so many North Korean provocations and must send a message to all proliferators “that this behavior is unlawful, destabilizing, and will not be normalized.” It also called on all countries to confront North Korea’s illicit activities to generate revenue such as cybercrime.

But Russia and China remained opposed to any council action.

China’s U.N. Ambassador Zhang Jun took note of the latest missile test but criticized the heightened U.S. military pressure on North Korea and its deployment of strategic weapons to the Korean Peninsula.

He said the long-time view of the U.S. and other countries that North Korea poses a security threat and their obsession with sanctions put North Korea under “existential pressure,” while the country’s own legitimate concerns “have never been addressed.”

Zhang said history since the 1990s clearly shows that dialogue and negotiation are the only way to ease tensions, and he urged the U.S. and North Korea to resume talks.

The statement from the 10 countries said they remain committed to diplomacy without preconditions. Song made no mention of talks, which have been stalled since 2018.

National News

Associated Press

GOP candidate challenging election loss in race to lead Texas’ most populous county drops lawsuit

HOUSTON (AP) — The highest profile Republican candidate who had sued seeking to overturn election results in the nation’s third-most populous county, a Democratic stronghold in deeply red Texas, has dropped her lawsuit. Alexandra del Moral Mealer was one of 21 GOP candidates who had filed lawsuits challenging their losses in November’s election in Harris […]

40 minutes ago

Associated Press

Convicted sex offender back in custody after walking away from a St. Louis hospital

SHREWSBURY, Mo. (AP) — A man convicted of child sex crimes is back in custody after walking away from a St. Louis hospital, authorities said. Tommy Wayne Boyd, 45, was transported Wednesday from the Potosi Correctional Facility to Mercy Hospital South for medical treatment. Surveillance video later showed him walking away from the hospital, St. […]

56 minutes ago

Associated Press

Lawmakers author proposal to try to cut food waste in half by 2030

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A bipartisan coalition of U.S. lawmakers has introduced a proposal designed to cut food waste in half by 2030. The lawmakers submitted their legislation on Thursday and said it would improve collaboration between the U.S. Department of Agriculture and regional waste prevention and food recovery organizations. The lawmakers said the proposal […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Chicago man gets life in prison for role in 2016 home invasion that killed 5 people

CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago man convicted of fatally shooting five people during a 2016 home invasion has been sentenced to life in prison. A Cook County judge on Thursday sentenced Lionel Parks, 35, who was convicted in July in the December 2016 killings at a drug dealer’s home on the city’s South Side, the […]

2 hours ago

FILE - Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., arrives for a vote on Capitol Hill, Sept. 6, 2023 in Washington. ...

Associated Press

Sen. Menendez, wife indicted on bribe charges as probe finds $100,000 in gold bars, prosecutors say

U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey and his wife have been indicted on charges of bribery.

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Authorities search for suspect wanted in killing who was mistakenly released from Indianapolis jail

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A man wanted for a 2021 killing in Minnesota was mistakenly released from jail in Indianapolis last week and authorities are now offering a reward of up to $10,000 as they continue searching for him. Kevin Mason, 28, was arrested in Indianapolis on Sept. 11 but a preliminary review found he was […]

4 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife...

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is a busy month on the sports calendar and also holds a very special designation: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Ziply Fiber...

Dan Miller

The truth about Gigs, Gs and other internet marketing jargon

If you’re confused by internet technologies and marketing jargon, you’re not alone. Here's how you can make an informed decision.

Education families...

Education that meets the needs of students, families

Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA) is a program of Omak School District that is a full-time online public school for students in grades K-12.

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

North Korea’s ambassador blames US for regional tensions in a rare appearance at UN Security Council