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Russian Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations Vladimir Safronkov addressing the U.N. Security Council in July.   © Reuters
Politics

Russia decries lack of security mechanism on Korean Peninsula

Deputy UN ambassador touts 'dual suspension' proposal to deal with North Korea

UNITED NATIONS -- Escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula are due partly to the lack of a security mechanism, Russia's Deputy U.N. Ambassador Vladimir Safronkov said Tuesday.

Without a mechanism guaranteeing "unified, indivisible security" for all countries of Northeast Asia, "a political and diplomatic settlement of the problems of the Korean Peninsula will be impossible," Safronkov said.

Safronkov was speaking at an annual event marking the U.N.'s International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. This year's gathering was made particularly relevant by the rising tensions between the U.S. and North Korea.

On Monday, North Korea's foreign minister suggested that U.S. President Donald Trump had declared war against his country, though Washington has denied this.

Safronkov was touting a proposal made by Russia and China that seeks to bring relevant parties to the negotiating table through a so-called dual-suspension framework, under which North Korea would halt its illegal weapons tests and the U.S. and South Korea would freeze joint military exercises in exchange.

While a large number of countries spoke of the North's nuclear threat at the event, an envoy from North Korea's neighbor, China, was conspicuously silent on the matter.

The annual event is intended to commemorate countries' shared goal of a world free of nuclear weapons. Still, major nuclear countries including the U.S., France and the U.K. -- signatories to the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons and therefore legally obligated to pursue efforts toward nuclear disarmament -- made no effort to address the meeting.

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