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Russia delays U.N. statement condemning North Korea provocations

Moscow wants a statement calling for the reduction of U.S.-South Korea military activity.

By Elizabeth Shim
Russia delays U.N. statement condemning North Korea provocations
A statement condemning North Korea provocations is being delayed at the United Nations Security Council. Photo by Mark Garten/UN/UPI

NEW YORK, May 4 (UPI) -- A United Nations Security Council statement that would condemn North Korea missile launches is not being ratified because of disagreements between Russia and the United States.

Moscow wants a paragraph added in the draft that would urge all relevant countries to reduce tensions on the Korean peninsula, Russia's TASS news agency reported.

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But the statement includes a call to reduce U.S.-South Korea military activities, Voice of America reported.

The statement has been delayed for six days at the United Nations Security Council, where delegates have been planning a response to Pyongyang's failed launch of mid-range ballistic missiles, the Musudan, on April 28.

The Security Council has already issued a total of five statements condemning North Korea provocations in 2016, and most statements were released immediately.

North Korea's announcement of a "successful" hydrogen bomb test was met with an immediate response from the council, as were ballistic missile tests on March 18, April 15 and April 24.

Russia specifically requested sentences pertaining to the reduction of U.S., South Korean military activity.

Russia's Ambassador to the U.N. Vitaly Churkin said the amendment was important.

"We need to call a spade a spade and we think that asking for the interested parties to scale down [U.S.-South Korea] military activity in the region is very important," he said.

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A South Korean government official who spoke to VOA on the condition of anonymity said this is the first time Russia has requested the clause.

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