It does not make sense to defend North Korea’s repeated military provocations and shift responsibility to the United States. China and Russia should be aware of their status as major nations and check North Korea’s reckless behavior.
Once again, North Korea has launched two ballistic missiles. Since late September, it has done so at the unusual pace of once every two days. A strong view exists that this is a rush to establish nuclear missile technology.
After North Korea launched a missile that passed through Japanese airspace on Oct. 4, the U.N. Security Council held an emergency meeting, during which North Korea launched another missile.
North Korea’s continued military movements, with no regard for the U.N. Security Council’s concerns, are due to the irresponsible responses of China and Russia, two permanent members of the U.N. Security Council.
In the emergency meeting, the U.S. and other members aimed to release a statement to the press censuring North Korea but did not do so because of opposition from China and Russia.
The U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Linda Thomas-Greenfield, remarked that “The DPRK [North Korea] has enjoyed blanket protection from two members of this council,” while China and Russia responded that “It is obvious that the missile launches by Pyongyang are a consequence of a short-sighted confrontational military activity surrounding this country conducted by the United States.”
In response to North Korea’s provocation, the U.S., Japan and South Korea conducted joint drills and security coordination aimed at nothing more than preserving regional stability. Russia and China’s claims are merely a complete rehashing of North Korea’s point of view and lack persuasiveness.
Because China and Russia did not cooperate, 11 countries, including the U.S., Europe and India, as well as nine Security Council members, issued a joint declaration censuring the launches.
The U.S., Japan and South Korea must continue to take a leadership role on the North Korea problem. It is necessary to consistently stress the importance of sticking with a policy of firm pressure and correct the false arguments of both the Russian and Chinese sides.
In the past, when North Korea has launched ballistic missiles, China and Russia agreed to the U.N. Security Council sanctions and statements of censure. But now, their stance is contradictory to their previous position, and they are enabling North Korea to become worse.
Analysis of satellite photos confirmed signs that North Korea has performed a seventh nuclear weapons test. It is critical for the international community to be resolute in dealing with behavior that threatens regional stability.
After North Korea’s successive missile launches, the U.S. and South Korea performed joint surface-to-surface missile launch drills. After the end of September, the U.S. military deployed a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to the Sea of Japan off the coast of South Korea. It can be said that the U.S has shown that it will continue to be involved with peace and stability in Asia.
North Korea is developing new weapons, such as missiles that fly at irregular trajectories. We would like the U.S., Japan and South Korea to cooperate and be prepared to intercept attacks.