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Leader Kim’s missiles raise controversy in the United Nations between three countries

The council met to discuss what Pyongyang said was the launch of the Hwasong-17, its largest intercontinental ballistic missile, on Thursday.

China and Russia blamed joint military exercises between the United States and South Korea for provoking Pyongyang, while Washington accused Beijing and Moscow of emboldening North Korea by shielding it from further sanctions.

A senior UN official said during the meeting that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres “remains deeply concerned about the divisions that have prevented the international community from acting on this issue.”

Russia’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations, Anna Evstigneva, called the joint military activity between the United States and South Korea “unprecedented,” while China’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations, Geng Shuang, questioned whether it was a defensive exercise and blamed it for escalating tensions.

“These exercises are long-term, routine. They are purely defensive in nature. The United States has no hostile intent toward North Korea,” said US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas Greenfield.

The council has been divided for years over how to deal with Pyongyang, with Russia and China, which have veto power like the United States, Britain and France, saying more sanctions would not help and want them eased.

On this point, Shuang said the aim is to make a gesture of goodwill in a bid to create favorable conditions for detente.

For her part, Greenfield said that the lifting of UN sanctions would be a reward for Pyongyang “for not doing anything to comply with Security Council resolutions”, and accused North Korea of ​​depriving its citizens of the humanitarian aid they need.

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It is worth noting that North Korea has been subject to United Nations sanctions because of its missile and nuclear programs since 2006.