Washington: An emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council over soaring tensions in the Korean Peninsula ended inconclusive with the powerful 15-member group of the world body failing to arrive at a consensus.
A draft resolution, circulated by the Russian Federation, after more than eight hours of debate, was sent back to the Capitals of the 15-members of the Security Council. US Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, who also heads the presidency of the Security Council for the month of December, said the “gap” between the member nations is unlikely to be bridged.
Rice said a major point of contention was the insistence of a number of countries including the United States for a strong condemnation of the recent “provocative” behavior of North Korea. Some of the countries, believed to be Russia and China, were against any such inclusion in the proposed presidential statement of the Security Council.
“The majority of the Council members made clear their view that it was important for them to clearly condemn the attack by North Korea on Yeonpyeong, but that view did not ultimately achieve consensus and while we still are still awaiting firm clear instructions from every Capital, I think, it is safe to predict that the gaps that remain are unlikely to be bridged,” she said.
US has strongly condemned the recent “unprovoked aggression” of North Korea against the South, Rice said.
North Korea has warned of “catastrophe” if South Korea goes ahead with its military’s planned one-day, live-fire drills on the same front-line island the North shelled last month. The emergency meeting of the UN Security Council was called at the request of Russia, which insisted that South Korea should not go ahead with its plans.
US came out in support of South Korea arguing that it had the right to carry out exercise in self-defense.
“We outlined our position that it is important for two sides to act in a fashion that promotes peace and security and we believe that Republic of Korea has throughout exercised enormous restraint,” Rice said.
She said the planned exercises by South Korea are fully consistent with its legal rights to self-defense.
“It is being done and notified transparently, responsibly and would not occur in a fashion, we believe, gives North Korea any excuse to respond in a fashion it has threatened to do,” Rice told reporters after the meeting.
The Security Council, among other things, deliberated the call for the council for a presidential statement.