UN Security Council fails to agree on statement on North Korea

A photo released by North Korea's state news agency shows the test-firing of a "newly developed" anti-aircraft missile. PHOTO: AFP

UNITED NATIONS, UNITED STATES (AFP) - The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting on Friday (Oct 1) on North Korea's recent missile tests but failed to agree on a joint statement, diplomats said.

The closed door meeting lasted just over an hour. It was requested by the United States - a rare show of initiative in recent years - France and Britain.

The goal was to examine North Korea's launch early this week of what it called a hypersonic gliding vehicle.

On Friday, North Korean state media said the country has tested a new anti-aircraft missile.

"France wanted a public statement but Russia and China said that this was not the time, that they needed more time to analyse the situation," a diplomat from a country that is part of the Security Council told AFP.

Diplomats from France - which wanted the council to issue a statement - were not immediately available for comment.

In 2017, at the behest of the Trump administration, the Security Council imposed tough economic sanctions against North Korea three times after it staged a nuclear test and several involving conventional missiles. The council passed them unanimously each time.

But since then, the council has failed to reach a common stance on nuclear-armed North Korea.

Several times, China - Pyongyang's key ally - and Russia have requested in vain the partial lifting of sanctions against North Korea.

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Eight months after taking office, the administration of President Joe Biden has not yet come up with a clear strategy towards North Korea.

"They tell us that are still studying this dossier," an ambassador from a Security Council member state said.

The diplomat complained that US lack of action is also seen on other international issues like the Middle East and the Western Sahara.

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