U.S. envoy hits back at suggestion U.S. provoked North Korea

United States decision to deploy an advanced anti-missile defence system in South Korea had provoked recent ballistic missile tests by North Korea.

Reuters| Last Updated: Aug 04, 2016, 07:23 AM IST

United Nations: U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, hit back on Wednesday at suggestions that a United States decision to deploy an advanced anti-missile defence system in South Korea had provoked recent ballistic missile tests by North Korea. 

Pyongyang`s ally China has said Washington`s decision last month to deploy a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system would only worsen tensions on the Korean peninsula. North Korea threatened a physical response to the deployment decision. 

Speaking after the U.N. Security Council met on North Korea`s missile launch on Wednesday, which landed in Japanese controlled waters for the first time, Power said the anti-missile system was to defend against the threat by North Korea. 

"Any notion that there`s some predicate by anybody other than Kim Jong Un and the DPRK (North Korea) regime is not grounded in reality and it`s not grounded in history," Power told reporters after the closed-door meeting, in reference to the North Korean leader. 

China`s U.N. Ambassador Liu Jieyi said that nothing should be done to exacerbate tensions on the Korean Peninsula. 

When asked what could be done to de-escalate the situation, he said: "If you look at the factors contributing to the tension in the Korean peninsula I think the answer is self-evident."

The 15-member Security Council met at the request of Japan and the United States following the latest in a series of launches by isolated North Korea in defiance of Security Council resolutions.

"The missile landed within Japan`s exclusive economic zone. There was no warning whatsoever," Japan`s U.N. Ambassador Koro Bessho told reporters. "It is certainly a major, major problem for the security and safety of our region."

South Korea`s U.N. Ambassador Oh Joon said that this year North Korea had conducted 13 rounds of ballistic missile tests, firing 29 various rockets. 

"They are doing all of this with a systematic, comprehensive purpose of upgrading and refining their missile technologies," he told reporters. "It poses a clear and present danger to the security of all countries in the region." 

Power said she believed the Security Council could swiftly issue a condemnation. Council statements have to be agreed by consensus and previous condemnations of North Korea missile launches have taken days or weeks. 

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is "deeply troubled" by North Korea`s recent missile launches, his spokesman said, calling on Pyongyang to "reverse its course."