SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — U.N. diplomats say Russia has blocked U.N. Security Council approval of a statement that would strongly condemn North Korea’s launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile and renew a pledge to take “further significant measures.”
The diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity because discussions have been private, said North Korea’s closest ally, China, had agreed to the text. They said discussions were continuing Thursday to try to find wording that all 15 council members would approve.
According to one diplomat, Russia objected because the proposed statement said the launch was of an intercontinental ballistic missile.
Russia’s deputy U.N. ambassador, Vladimir Safronkov, told an emergency Security Council meeting on Wednesday that the launch “requires thorough clarification and investigation” and indicated it might have been a medium-range missile.
U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley retorted that U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the United States and North Korea said it was an ICBM. She said if Russia needs intelligence to prove it, “I’m happy to provide it.”