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China and Russia defend North Korea vetoes at the UN

China and Russia defend North Korea vetoes at the UN

China and Russia defended their vetoes of a strongly backed U.S resolution that would have imposed tough new sanctions on North Korea at a first-ever General Assembly meeting Wednesday that is now required for any measure that sparks a veto in the Security Council by one of its five permanent members.

The close allies reiterated their opposition to more sanctions, blaming the United States for rising tensions on the Korean peninsula and insisting that what’s needed now is dialogue between North Korea and the Biden administration.

Nearly 70 countries signed up to speak at the open meeting which General Assembly President Abdalla Shahid hailed as making the U.N. more efficient and accountable. “It is with good reason that it has been coined as `revolutionary’ by several world leaders I have recently met,” he said.

Denmark’s U.N. Ambassador Martin Bille Hermann told the 193-member world body as he started his address on behalf of the Nordic countries: “History is being made today.”

The Security Council is entrusted with ensuring international peace and security, he said, and the use of a veto to prevent the council from discharging its duties “is a matter of great concern.”

The General Assembly’s adoption of a resolution on April 26 requiring a debate on the issue not only gives the country or countries casting a veto to explain their reason but it gives all U.N. member nations “a welcome opportunity to share our views on the matter at hand,” Hermann said.

A united Security Council imposed sanctions after North Korea’s first nuclear test explosion in 2006 and tightened them over the years in a total of 10 resolutions seeking — so far unsuccessfully — to rein in its nuclear and ballistic missile programs and cut off funding.

The 13-2 Security Council vote on May 26 marked a first serious division among its five veto-wielding permanent members — China, Russia, United States, Britain and France — on a North Korea sanctions resolution.

On Sunday, North Korea fired eight short-range missiles in what appeared to be a single-day record for the country’s ballistic launches. It was the reclusive north Asian country’s 18th round of missile tests in 2022 that included its first launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles in nearly five years.

U.S. deputy ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis told the assembly the record number of launches have taken place as North Korea “is finalizing preparations for a potential seventh nuclear test.”

He called the actions by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea or DPRK — the country’s official name — “unprovoked.”

De Laurentis stressed that U.S. President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken “have repeatedly and publicly said that we seek a dialogue with Pyongyang, without preconditions,” and that message has been passed through private channels, including China.

“The United States is more than prepared to discuss easing sanctions to achieve the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,” he said.

Unfortunately, DeLaurentis said, the DPRK has only responded with “destabilizing launches that threaten not only the region but the world.”

Under the General Assembly resolution that required Wednesday’s meeting, the permanent member or members casting a veto are given precedence on the speakers list.

China’s U.N. Ambassador Zhang Jun addressed diplomats first, accusing the United States of ignoring positive steps taken by the DPRK and returning to its “old path” of “chanting empty slogans for dialogue and increasing sanctions against the DPRK.”

This has intensified “the DPRK distrust of the U.S.” and brought talks “to a complete deadlock,” he said.

Zhang blamed “the flip-flop of U.S. policies,” its failure to implement results of the DPRK-U.S. dialogue during the Trump administration, and its disregard for the North’s “reasonable concerns” for tensions on the peninsula today.

“Where the situation goes from here will depend to a large extent on the actions of the U.S.,” he said, “and the key lies in whether the U.S. can face up to the crux of the problem, demonstrate a reasonable attitude, and take meaningful concrete actions.”

Russia’s deputy U.N. ambassador Anna Evstigneeva said new sanctions against the DPRK “would be a dead end,” stressing that current U.N. sanctions have failed to guarantee security in the region “nor moved us any further toward settling the nuclear missile non-proliferation issues.”

“Anyone who is seriously addressing the North Korean problem has long understood that it’s futile to expect Pyongyang to unconditionally disarm under the threat of a spiral of sanctions,” she said. “The creation of new military blocs in the regions such as the formation of the U.S.-Great Britain and Australia casts serious doubt on the good intentions of these countries,” including in Pyongyang.

North Korea’s U.N. Ambassador Kim Song denounced all U.N. sanctions and the proposed U.S. resolution as “illegal,” saying they violate the U.N. Charter and his country’s right to self-defense to prepare for any potential security crisis on the Korean peninsula and in the region.

Modernizing the DPRK’s armaments is essential, he said, to safeguard North Korea’s interests “from direct threat of the United States,” which he insisted has made no move “to abandon its hostile policy.”

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Governor Ortom Mourns Elder Statesman, Paul Unongo

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has expressed deep pains over the death of an elder statesman Dr Paul Unongo, saying “we have lost a pathfinder and leader of an inestimable value.”

Unongo, a former Minister of Power and Steel in the Second Republic, died at 87 in Jos, Plateau State on Tuesday.

Ortom’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Nathaniel Ikyur on Wednesday in Makurdi quoted his principal in a statement, describing Unongo him as a father figure who led the emancipation of the ordinary citizens without ethnic or religious barriers.

“The leadership role Unongo played in the political evolution of Nigeria cannot be forgotten in a hurry.

“He was a mentor to many leaders of today who have great ideas for the socio-political and economic development of the country.

Ortom said Benue’s Iroko tree and one of the last icons of political leadership in Nigeria has fallen, adding that Unongo’s contributions to the politics of the country from post-independence till date cannot be quantified.

“Indeed the state has lost a leader and mentor. His death has created a vacuum that will be difficult to refill.

“We shall miss his intellect, great ideas, oratory prowess and immense capacity for mobilisation and organisation of the people.

“I am consoled that Unongo’s legacies of patriotism, pan Nigerian and philanthropy will endure.

“The state will do the needful to immortalise Unongo for his selfless services and contributions to the development of the state,”Ortom said.

He prayed to God to grant the deceased eternal rest and the immediate family the fortitude to bear the loss.

Unongo too from over Maitama Sule as the chairman of the Northern Elders’ Forum. In 2017.

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BREAKING: Court Jails Student Over Tweet On Aisha Buhari

An Abuja court has sent a university student, Aminu Muhammad, to prison over a post on Twitter mocking first lady Aisha Buhari.

The student, according to BBC Hausa Service, was sent to prison on Tuesday.

The student’s lawyer, CK Agu, told BBC that the judge has refused to grant his client bail.

Mr Aminu was remanded in prion custody till December 5, 2022, the lawyer said.

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Top ISWAP Commander Killed In Airstrike In Lake Chad Region

A top commander of the Islamic State of the West African Province (ISWAP), Muhammad Malik has been killed by troops of the air task force in the Lake Chad region.

Zagazola Makama, a publication focused on the Lake Chad region reported that Malik died on November 29 from the fatal injuries he sustained during the attack.

Nigerian troops were said to have launched a coordinated intelligence-led aerial and ground operation and targeted the jihadist group’s location in the Sabon Tumbun area of Lake Chad on November 24.

This attack was also said to have led to the killing of scores of fighters.

Malik is said to have been a member of the Shura Council in Marte before he went for a course in computer engineering and improvised explosive device (IED) making, sponsored by ISIS in Somalia.

On his return, he reportedly established IED training units where fighters were trained in deploying explosives during attacks.

In the last few months, the Nigerian military has been recording a series of successes in the fight against insurgency in the Lake Chad region and other northern states.

Troops had recently repelled an attack by insurgents at Wawa cantonment in Borgu LGA of Niger state as well as the killing of three commanders of ISWAP in Borno.

 

 

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