North Korea Defends Self-Defense Right with Latest Hwasong-18 ICBM Launch, Rejects Security Council Briefing

North Korea Defends Missile Launch as Exercise of Self-Defense

In a rare appearance before the United Nations Security Council, North Korea’s envoy defended the country’s recent intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test as an exercise of its right to self-defense. The North Korean ambassador, Kim Song, stated that the test was intended to deter hostile forces and safeguard the country’s security. The Security Council convened after North Korea announced the successful test of its new Hwasong-18 ICBM, which the country claims is the centerpiece of its nuclear strike force.

North Korea, formally known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), has faced U.N. sanctions since 2006 due to its missile and nuclear programs. These sanctions include a ban on the development of ballistic missiles. However, the Security Council has been divided on how to address the North Korean threat in recent years. Russia and China, along with the United States, Britain, and France, have argued that further sanctions will not be effective and have called for easing existing measures. The United States, on the other hand, blames China and Russia for shielding North Korea from additional sanctions.

Speaking on behalf of the United States, Deputy Ambassador to the U.N., Jeffrey DeLaurentis, criticized Russia and China for preventing the Security Council from presenting a unified response to North Korea’s repeated missile launches. DeLaurentis emphasized that the U.S. remains committed to diplomacy and has continuously urged North Korea to engage in dialogue without any preconditions. However, North Korea has not responded to these offers.

China’s Ambassador to the U.N., Zhang Jun, stressed Beijing’s commitment to denuclearization and resolving the Korean Peninsula issue through dialogue. Describing the situation as “tense,” Zhang urged all parties involved to avoid confrontations. He also criticized a recent NATO communique that accused China of challenging NATO’s interests and security. Zhang dismissed the communique as “filled with Cold War mentality and ideological prejudices” and called on NATO to engage in self-reflection.

The ongoing tensions surrounding North Korea’s missile launches highlight the challenges of addressing the issue diplomatically. The Security Council remains divided on how to respond, with differing views on the effectiveness of sanctions and the role played by major powers like China and Russia. As North Korea continues to test its missile capabilities, it is clear that the situation on the Korean Peninsula remains a pressing concern for the international community.

In conclusion, North Korea’s recent missile launch has raised tensions and highlighted the ongoing challenges of addressing the country’s nuclear program. The country’s envoy defended the launch as an exercise of self-defense, while the United States and its allies expressed frustration with the lack of progress in diplomacy. The Security Council remains divided on how to respond, with differing views on the effectiveness of sanctions and the role of major powers. As the situation continues to evolve, the international community faces the task of finding a viable solution to the North Korean threat.