Saturday, April 29, 2017 10:36 am
The U.S. and UK as well as their allies have given conditions for peaceful resolution of the ongoing conflict over North Korea’s nuclear threats.
The two countries gave the conditions at a high-level meeting on North Korea, attended by Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the 15-Member UN Security Council on Friday in New York.
This was just as North Korea reportedly launched another missile test on Friday as a Security Council’s meeting chaired by the U.S. got underway at the UN.
The high-level meeting was chaired by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to end the country’s Presidency of the Council for the Month of April 2017.
Tillerson said: “For the past 20 years, well-intentioned diplomatic efforts to halt these programs have failed.
“It is only by first dismantling them that there can be peace, stability, and economic prosperity for all of Northeast Asia.
“With each successive detonation and missile test, North Korea pushes Northeast Asia and the world closer to instability and broader conflict.
“The threat of a North Korean nuclear attack on Seoul, or Tokyo, is real.
“And it is likely only a matter of time before North Korea develops the capability to strike the U.S. mainland.
“Indeed, the DPRK has repeatedly claimed it plans to conduct such a strike.
“Given that rhetoric, the United States cannot idly stand by. Nor can other members of this council who are within striking distance of North Korean missiles”.
The U.S. envoy warned that there was no reason to think that North Korea would change its behaviour under the current multilateral sanctions framework.
“For too long, the international community has been reactive in addressing North Korea. Those days must come to an end.
“Failing to act now on the most pressing security issue in the world may bring catastrophic consequences.
“We have said this before and it bears repeating: the policy of strategic patience is over. Additional patience will only mean acceptance of a nuclear North Korea.
“The more we bid our time, the sooner we will run out of it,” Tillerson warned.
He added: “Lastly, as we have said before, all options for responding to future provocation must remain on the table.
“Diplomatic and financial levers of power will be backed up by a willingness to counteract North Korean aggression with military action if necessary”.
On its part, the UK, through Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, called for a change of approach by the Security Council, towards North Korea.
“This Council must be united in its demand that the present course cannot continue and Britain is proud today to have joined its allies to lead the enforcement of sanctions and seek a peaceful solution.
“We urge other partners with direct influence on North Korea to use their leverage to the full, with the aim of easing tensions and ensuring compliance with the expressed will of the UN.”
The UK called on Russia and China and other Member States to use whatever influence they possess to restrain North Korea and guide its leaders towards a peaceful settlement.
“Britain stands alongside our allies in making clear that North Korea must obey the UN and halt its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes, disarming in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner.
“Only then can this Council be assured of the peace and security of the region – and only then can the people of North Korea have the chance of a better future.
“But the catastrophic effects of a North Korean nuclear strike outweigh any economic benefits.
“We must be willing to face the hard truths and make hard choices right now to prevent disastrous outcomes in the future.
“For years, North Korea has been dictating the terms of its dangerous course of action; it is time for us to retake control of the situation,” Johnson said.
Other members of the Security Council that supported U.S. and UK included Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Italy, Sweden and Ukraine. (NAN