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With North Korea's vetoes, the US wonders if China and Russia prioritize their ties over global security

Image: Reuters Berita 24 English - The US questioned on Wednesday whether China and Russia had put their "no boundaries" strategic...

Image: Reuters

Berita 24 English - The US questioned on Wednesday whether China and Russia had put their "no boundaries" strategic relationship ahead of global security by vetoing fresh UN sanctions against North Korea over its resumption of ballistic missile launches.

In response to the Security Council vetoes two weeks earlier, senior US ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis told a meeting of the 193-member United Nations General Assembly, "We hope these vetoes are not a reflection of that relationship."

"Their justifications for invoking the veto were weak, untrustworthy, and unpersuasive. The vetoes were not used to protect our safety and security as a whole "After China and Russia, DeLaurentis addressed the assembly.

In February, nearly three weeks before Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, China and Russia announced a "no limits" alliance. For the first time since Pyongyang was sanctioned in 2006, their vetoes on North Korea caused a visible division in the UN Security Council.

Chinese diplomat Wu Jianjian said China resolutely rejected "presumptious comments and charges against China's voting position" during a right of reply in the General Assembly later on Wednesday.

"China's vote against the draft resolution put forward by the United States was perfectly logical and justified," Wu added. "Increasing sanctions against the DPRK (North Korea) will only make the prospect of a political settlement even more unlikely."

The Russian UN mission did not respond to a request for comment on the US remarks right away.

North Korea has launched dozens of ballistic missiles this year, including intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), after breaching a test moratorium declared by the country in 2018 after leader Kim Jong Un met then-US President Donald Trump.

The US has warned that North Korea is ready to perform its seventh nuclear test, and that if this happens, it will seek more UN penalties.

China's U.N. Ambassador Zhang Jun accused a "flip-flop of US policy" for a further escalation of tensions in his statement to the General Assembly earlier on Wednesday, pressuring Washington to respond.

"The US can do a number of things, including lifting sanctions on the DPRK (North Korea) in some areas and cancelling joint military exercises (with South Korea). The goal is to take action rather than simply talk about its willingness to engage in dialogue with no preconditions "Zhang stated.

"We are more than willing to discuss lowering sanctions to accomplish total denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," DeLaurentis added. He claimed that the US had attempted to begin negotiations several times, sending public and private communications, but had received no response.

North Korea has defended its development of ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons as a means of defending itself against "direct threats" from the US. Pyongyang's missile launches and nuclear tests, according to DeLaurentis, were unprovoked.

"The steps taken by the DPRK to strengthen national defense capabilities are an unavoidable choice to deal with the hostile threats posed by the United States within the purview of self-defense rights," North Korea's UN Ambassador Kim Song told the General Assembly.

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