China's UN Envoy Defends N. Korea Sanctions Veto, Says US Policy Shift Led To Crisis

WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 27th May, 2022) Chinese Ambassador to the UN Zhang Jun fired back at his American counterpart's criticism of Bejing vetoing a US-sponsored Security Council resolution to tighten sanctions on North Korea, and blamed the situation on changes in Washington's approach.

Earlier in the day, Russia and China during a UN Security Council meeting vetoed a US-sponsored resolution that was designed to sanction North Korea over its recent intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launches. China had argued that the resolution would only make the situation worse.

"China's position is independently self determined, and it doesn't have to be aligned with that of the United States," Zhang said on Thursday during a UN Security Council meeting on North Korea. "Such alignment is not required in the council rules of procedure. China's voting position is based on our assessment as to whether a proposal contributes to a solution whether it helps maintain international and regional peace and security."

US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield accused China and Russia of refusing to cooperate with the UN Security Council to address North Korea's nuclear weapons and ICBM programs, claiming that their veto emboldens Pyongyang's actions and sends message to other proliferators that they can act with impunity.

The envoy also suggested that Biden administration policy changes towards North Korea have helped fuel the crisis.

"The way the US approaches the Korean Peninsula is going through a change. These changes are the very factors that have led to today's complex situation," the envoy said.

Zhang said China rejects his US counterpart's accusations because they have no grounds. China has been a responsible member of this UN Security Council and has helped the United States facilitate greater cooperation within the council, he said.

"The reason why today's draft resolution failed to pass is very clear," Zhang said. "It is not China's fault at all. If the US had accepted the proposals of China and some other members of this council, this situation could have easily been avoided. In fact, perhaps some people wanted nothing but this situation based on cynical intentions."

Moreover, Zhang said the Biden administration appears to be changing how it approaches the issue on the Korean peninsula with its Indo-Pacific Strategy, which seems to be a key factor to the current complex situation.

Zhang further added that if some people are making other plans deep down to spread the flames of war to Northeast Asia and the Korean peninsula, then China would have no choice but to take stern and firm initiatives to defend the stability of the Korean Peninsula and the Asia Pacific.

North Korea test-launched three ballistic missiles this week toward the Sea of Japan, all from from the Sunan area in Pyongyang, hours after President Joe Biden concluded his trip to South Korea and Japan for meetings with his counterparts to discuss security in the region and trade.