US, Allies Clash with Russia, China over North Korea's Failed Military Spy Satellite Launch

FILE - In this undated photo provided by the North Korean government on March 11, 2022, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground in Tongchang-ri, North Korea. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP, File)
FILE - In this undated photo provided by the North Korean government on March 11, 2022, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground in Tongchang-ri, North Korea. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP, File)
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US, Allies Clash with Russia, China over North Korea's Failed Military Spy Satellite Launch

FILE - In this undated photo provided by the North Korean government on March 11, 2022, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground in Tongchang-ri, North Korea. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP, File)
FILE - In this undated photo provided by the North Korean government on March 11, 2022, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground in Tongchang-ri, North Korea. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP, File)

The United States and its allies clashed with Russia and China on Friday over North Korea’s failed launch of a military spy satellite this week in violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions, which Moscow and Beijing refused to condemn.

The confrontation was the latest over the North’s escalating nuclear, ballistic missile and military programs, which US deputy ambassador Robert Wood warned are threatening international peace and security. The failed launch “not only disrupted maritime and air traffic in the region, but it also caused alarm for its neighbors in Japan and the Republic of Korea,” he said.

Pyongyang is threatening another launch soon, The Associated Press said.

The Security Council imposed sanctions after North Korea’s first nuclear test explosion in 2006 and tightened them over the years in a total of 10 resolutions seeking — so far unsuccessfully — to rein in its nuclear and ballistic missile programs and cut off funding. In the last sanctions resolution adopted by the council in December 2017, members committed to further restricting petroleum exports to North Korea if it conducted a ballistic missile launch capable of reaching intercontinental ranges.

China and Russia vetoed a US-sponsored resolution in May 2022 that would have imposed new sanctions, including on petroleum exports, over a spate of intercontinental ballistic missile launches. Since then, they have blocked any council action including press statements.

UN political chief Rosemary DiCarlo told the council the last time North Korea conducted a similar satellite launch to Wednesday’s failed attempt was on Feb. 7, 2016 and it was condemned by the Security Council.

“The lack of unity and action in the Security Council does little to slow the negative trajectory on the Korean Peninsula,” she said, and North Korea “is unconstrained, and other parties are compelled to focus on military deterrence.”

But North Korea’s neighbor and ally China and Russia, which has drawn closer to Pyongyang since the war in Ukraine, blamed the West and especially the United States for the current tensions.

China’s deputy UN ambassador Geng Shuang said the situation on the Korean Peninsula is a remnant of the Cold War. He accused the United States of failing to respond to North Korea’s attempts at dialogue over the years and instead resorting to sanctions and pressure on Pyongyang, missing an opportunity to resolve the nuclear issue.

“By incorporating the (Korean) Peninsula into its Indo-Pacific strategy, the US has continued its military activities and significantly increased its military presence both on the peninsula and in its surrounding areas, seriously undermining the strategic security interests of the peninsula and its neighboring countries,” Geng said

He also pointed to the recent US-South Korea Washington Declaration, including plans to send strategic nuclear submarines to the peninsula.

Geng claimed US policies are “driven by geopolitical self-interest” and told the council that blaming one party “will only exacerbate conflicts, provocations and inject new uncertainties into the already tense situation on the peninsula.”

He urged the council to adopt a resolution circulated by China and Russia in November 2021 that would end a host of sanctions on the North, saying this would be a starting point “to promote de-escalation, mutual trust and unity” among the 15 members.

Russia’s deputy ambassador Anna Evstigneeva blamed increased pressure on North Korea by the US and its allies for “the spiral of tension we’re witnessing now.” And she criticized growing military activity by the US, Japan and South Korea, especially recent large-scale US-South Korean military exercises, saying they are destabilizing not only for northeast Asia but for the Asia-Pacific region as a whole.

Russia is against “the dead end and inhumane policy of increasing sanctions pressure,” Evstigneeva said, stressing that UN resolutions that imposed sanctions also back efforts to resolve the situation on the Korean Peninsula by political and diplomatic means.

Russia calls on the United States to take steps to lower tensions and resume dialogue, instead of trying to shift responsibility “to other countries,” she said, also backing council action on the China-Russia resolution.

Wood, the US envoy, countered that the Washington Declaration was a response to North Korea’s destabilizing nuclear and ballistic missile activities.

“It’s hard to imagine we would ease sanctions” as called for in the China-Russia draft resolution and reward Pyongyang while it continues to violate Security Council resolutions, he said.

As for diplomacy, Wood said the United States on many occasions has stated it is prepared to have an unconditional dialogue, but North Korea “has rejected our interventions on many occasions.”

He stressed that US-South Korean military exercises are lawful efforts to defend against Pyongyang’s escalating activities that are allowing the country to advance its unlawful weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs – and to “continue to choose ammunition over nutrition” for its people.



Plane Crash Near Ohio Airport Kills 3

A view of an exterior of the US Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration in Aurora, Illinois, September 26, 2014. REUTERS/Jim Young
A view of an exterior of the US Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration in Aurora, Illinois, September 26, 2014. REUTERS/Jim Young
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Plane Crash Near Ohio Airport Kills 3

A view of an exterior of the US Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration in Aurora, Illinois, September 26, 2014. REUTERS/Jim Young
A view of an exterior of the US Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration in Aurora, Illinois, September 26, 2014. REUTERS/Jim Young

A plane trying to make an emergency landing at an airport in northeastern Ohio crashed, killing all three people aboard, authorities said.
The Federal Aviation Administration said Saturday that the twin-engine Beechcraft 60 went down near the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport in Ohio at about 6:45 p.m. Friday.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol post in Trumbull County, which was notified shortly after 7 p.m. Saturday, said the crash just north of the airport killed the pilot and two passengers. The families of the victims have been notified and names are to be released later, an official said.
Anthony Trevena, executive director of the Western Reserve Port Authority, told WKBN-TV that the crash came after an airplane not associated with the air reserve station at the airport came in for an unscheduled emergency landing. A mechanical failure is suspected, the station reported.
The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate, the FAA said in a statement.