Russia, US In Spat Over UN Condemnation Of North Korea

Russia Slams Allegations of 'Blocking' of UNSC Press Statement on N Korea

The press statement was issued by U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley, who holds this month's rotating presidency. The latest USA -drafted statement dropped "through dialogue" and Russian Federation requested it be included. "They shouldn't try to play it at this point".

The council also warned the North of "further significant measures, including sanctions".

Council diplomats, speaking anonymously because discussions were private, said the US, which is in charge of drafting council statements and resolutions on North Korea, had dropped the call for "dialogue" as part of its effort to toughen the text.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told reporters the United Nations fully backs efforts of all states trying to ensure "that North Korea doesn't acquire the capacities that would become a threat, not only for the region but in a wider area of the world".

Tensions have escalated over North Korean moves to accelerate its arms programs, including developing an intercontinental ballistic missile that could reach the United States and announcing that a declared priority is to develop a hydrogen bomb. "The US wanted to get the message out".

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"The members of the Security Council expressed their utmost concern over the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's highly destabilizing behavior and flagrant and provocative defiance of the Security Council by conducting this ballistic-missile launch", the council said in the statement, referring to the April 15 launch. "This should have passed as soon as possible after the missile launch attempt, period", the official said.

They also emphasized "the vital importance" of North Korea "immediately showing honest commitment to denuclearization".

Diplomats who spoke on condition of anonymity appeared surprised that Russian Federation would block condemnation that China, Pyongyang's ally, had been willing to support. The U.S. has invited foreign ministers from the 14 other council nations and many are expected to attend.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres separately said "everything" must be done to confront the threat from North Korea and ensure that its missile and nuclear programs do not pose an global threat.

One diplomat said it was unlikely the Security Council would be able to resolve differences on the statement. We've said it as clearly as we can possibly say it.

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