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Russia Blocks U.S.-Drafted UN Statement Condemning North Korea Tests


U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley

Russia has blocked the UN Security Council from condemning North Korea's latest missile test even though China had backed the strongly-worded statement drafted by the United States, diplomats said.

The proposed statement on April 19 would have demanded that North Korea "conduct no further nuclear tests" and halt missile launches after Pyongyang carried out a failed test over the weekend.

Russia wanted to include language contained in a previous resolution stressing the need to achieve a solution through dialogue, council diplomats said.

Last month, the council was united in strongly condemning the launch of three missiles and expressed serious concern over Pyongyang's "increasingly destabilizing behavior."

In the proposed statement, council members expressed "their utmost concern" over North Korea's "highly destabilizing behavior" and again threatened to take "further significant measures."

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley stressed that the burden is on North Korea to prevent an escalation.

"It's important that North Korea know we are not trying to pick a fight, so don't try to give us one," Haley said.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and TASS
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