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Russia opposes draft UN statement condemning N. Korea over launch

Update: April, 20/2017 - 11:00

NEW YORK While China has signed off on language for a new draft UN Security Council press statement condemning North Korea’s recent failed missile launch, Russia apparently has requested a change in the text, diplomats said on Wednesday.

Moscow apparently has reservations about a sentence saying that the 15-member council "expressed their commitment to a peaceful, diplomatic and political solution to the situation," demanding mention of a solution "through dialogue," which had been inserted in past statements.

The press statement would be the fifth issued this year by the council in response to ballistic missile and nuclear tests by North Korea.

A Security Council press statement has no binding power, but to issue them approval from all 15 members is required in principle.

Tensions in Northeast Asia have been ramped up by threats from the North to carry out a sixth nuclear test or an intercontinental ballistic missile test.

The discussions on the text follow bold statements made this week by both US Ambassador Nikki Haley and North Korea’s Deputy Ambassador Kim In Ryong.

Kim on Monday warned that a nuclear war "may break out at any moment," while Haley on Tuesday emphasised that Washington is not looking for a fight "so don’t try and give us one."

Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, on Wednesday said that he believes it is important for all countries involved in past talks on denuclearising the Korean Peninsula -- South Korea, Japan, China, Russia and the United States -- to help prevent the North’s potential nuclear capability from becoming a threat to the international community.

"We fully support the efforts of all states in order to make sure that North Korea doesn’t acquire the capacities that would become a threat, not only for the region, but in the wider world," he said. KYODO

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