19:36 GMT28 November 2020
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    The Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations issued a statement Wednesday expressing surprise at recent media reports claiming that Russia had vetoed the UN Security Council statement condemning North Korea's latest missile launch test.

    The statement refuted the allegations that had emerged in mainstream US media earlier.

    "The draft was actually introduced by the US delegation on April 19. We took note that the proposed text contained some language that was not previously agreed in the standard press statements on the condemnation of DPRK's missile launches," the statement said. "In particular, the penholder deleted the words “through dialogue” in the context of denuclearization and peaceful solution on the Korean Peninsula. <…> When we requested to restore the agreed language that was of political importance and expressed commitment to continue to work on the draft with the penholder, the US delegation without providing any explanations cancelled the work on the draft claiming that is was Russia who had “blocked” the statement."

    Earlier, media reports emerged blaming Russia for blocking the UN Security Council statement condemning North Korea's missile launch of April 15, 2017.

    North Korea carried out a failed missile launch on Sunday, prompting Japan to lodge a protest and US Vice President Mike Pence to declare that the "era of strategic patience is over." South Korean Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn said Monday that Seoul and Washington would take "powerful punitive measures" in case of further provocations from Pyongyang.

    On Wednesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov reminded that Russia has never been a supporter of the sanctions dialogue, adding that "it is also irrational and unpromising" regarding North Korea. 

    "You know that we are in favor of continuing political and diplomatic efforts, including those that have gained a reputation within the framework of the international format," he added.

    In September 2016, Pyongyang launched three ballistic missiles in the direction of the Sea of Japan. Several days later it conducted a successful test of a nuclear warhead, which is believed to be the fifth and largest blast since Pyongyang began pursuing nuclear and ballistic missile programs. In the latest New Year's address to the nation, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said the country was finalizing preparations for another intercontinental ballistic missile test.

    The UN Security Council imposed new sanctions against the North Korea in 2016 in response to nuclear test and missile launches. Japan, South Korea and the United States later introduced additional sanctions against the country.


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