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U.N. Security Council unlikely to issue statement condemning N.K. missile launches

All News 07:11 July 25, 2016

NEW YORK, July 24 (Yonhap) -- The U.N. Security Council appears unlikely to issue a statement condemning North Korea's latest ballistic missile launches, spurring speculation that China may be uncooperative in anger over a decision to deploy the THAAD missile defense system in South Korea.

Right after the North launched three ballistic missiles last Tuesday, the U.S. government said it will "raise our concerns at the U.N. to bolster international resolve in holding the DPRK accountable for these provocative actions." The DPRK stands for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the North's official name.

But there have been no signs of the Security Council working on the issue amid views that some members of the council must have expressed opposition to such a move. The widespread view in the U.N. is that the council has missed the timing to adopt a statement.

The council also did not issue any statement when the North tested a submarine-launched ballistic missile on July 9, a day after South Korea and the U.S. announced a joint decision to place a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense battery in the South to cope with missile threats from the North.

That contrasts with a series of press statements the council has swiftly adopted almost every time the North launched ballistic missiles in recent months. Five statements have been adopted so far this year to condemn the North's provocations.

The lack of action by the council has spurred speculation that China, a veto-holding permanent member of the council, may be refusing to render cooperation in protest of the decision by Seoul and Washington to deploy THAAD in spite of Beijing's opposition.

China has long objected to THAAD's placement in South Korea, claiming the system, especially its powerful X-band radar, can be used against it, despite repeated assurances from Washington that the system is aimed only at deterring North Korean threats.

But a U.N. diplomat said it is too early to determine that THAAD made China uncooperative on North Korea issues.

"From the perspective of the Security Council, North Korea's missile launches may not necessarily warrant a press statement," a diplomat said, speaking on condition of anonymity. "Though the timing was missed and there are no signs of pushing for it, it is premature to determine that China has become different because of the THAAD decision."

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