Japan vows to work for unity of Security Council over North Korea

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Japan’s top envoy to the United Nations pledged to do his utmost Tuesday so the Security Council can reach a consensus over North Korea’s weapons programs and other contentious issues as its rotating president this month.

“What I wish to do is to try to have a united, unified voice of the Security Council so that the voice could have an impact” upon North Korea, Kimihiro Ishikane told a press conference.

The Security Council has not been successful in speaking in one voice on North Korea, “things are not really going well,” Ishikane said.

North Korea launched ballistic missiles on a record 37 occasions last year in defiance of past Security Council resolutions. Pyongyang already fired a first for this year on New Year’s Day.

The Security Council has failed, however, to reach an agreement on additional punitive measures against North Korea due mainly to reluctance due mainly to the reluctance of Russia and China, both veto-wielding permanent members.

The top envoy from Tokyo said, “I’d like to convey the voice of Japan, of Japanese who are facing this…threatening danger coming from our neighborhood.”

Japan is among five nonpermanent members of the 15-member Security Council to serve for two years until the end of 2024 along with Ecuador, Malta, Mozambique and Switzerland.

Ishikane also said Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi will host a ministerial meeting on the principle of the rule of law in the maintenance of international peace and security on Jan. 12 in New York.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began in February last year, will be referred to or discussed in the ministerial talks, Ishikane said, adding the topics will not be limited to it.

While Ishikane did not elaborate, Japanese officials mention the principle of the rule of law in discussions about China’s assertive behavior in the East and South China seas.



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