By Arul LouisUnited Nations, Oct 7 : India has joined the US in condemning North Korea’s missile launches as a threat to the international community and warned that they could be in pursuit of its leader Kim Jong-un’s threat of pre-emptive nuclear strikes.
India’s Permanent Representative Ruchira Kamboj joined US Permanent Representative Linda Thomas-Greenfield on Wednesday to issue a joint statement, along with nine other countries, to “strongly condemn North Korea’s long-range ballistic missile launch which overflew Japan on October 4 and its seven other ballistic missile launches conducted since September 25”.
“North Korea made its intentions clear in April and September when its leader signalled an effort to accelerate North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs and even alluded to pre-emptive use of nuclear forces,” the statement said referring to the country by the initials of its formal name, the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea.
“We are witnessing North Korea’s pursuit of this objective,” the statement warned.
The launches “violate multiple Security Council resolutions and pose a threat to not only the region, but to the entire international community”, said the statement issued after a meeting of the Security Council on North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes.
China and Russia stood isolated in the Security Council by defending North Korea at the meeting while all the other 13 Security Council members crticised Pyongyang.
China’s Deputy Permanent Representative Geng Shuang linked Pyongyang’s missile launches to the joint military exercises by the US and other countries in the region.
Russia’s Deputy Permanent Representative Anna Evstigneeva said her country opposed new sanctions on North Korea, whose activities she blamed on US military activity.
Speaking at the Security Council, Kamboj said that the “proliferation of nuclear and missile technologies” by North Korea “have an adverse impact on peace and security in the region, including on India”.
She was alluding to Pakistan bartering its nuclear technology for North Korea’s missile technology.
India reiterated the importance of “addressing the proliferation of nuclear and missile technologies related to North Korea in our region”, she said.
Referring to the global instability on several fronts that could be exacerbated by North Korea’s missile and nuclear programmes, she said: “The Global South has already been disproportionately affected by the prevailing geopolitical situation and related challenges.It is therefore important, to continue to make all efforts to maintain peace and stability.”
Speaking outside the Security Council chamber with diplomats from the 11-member group that included Japan, the United Arab Emirates, South Korea, France and Britain, Thomas-Greenfield said: “The US and those who have joined me at the podium today remain committed to diplomacy and continue to call on North Korea to return to dialogue.”
“But we will not stay silent as North Korea works to undermine the global nonproliferation regime and threaten the international community,” she added.
(Arul Louis can be contacted at [email protected] and followed at @arulouis)
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