No UNSC presidential statement on N Korea for now

"I think most Council members concluded that the window of relevance or principal relevance for the statement we were discussing yesterday has largely passed," said Susan Rice, US Ambassador to the UN, who holds the rotating presidency for the month of December.

On Sunday, the 15-membered Security Council met for more than eight hours at an emergency meeting to discuss the increased tension in the region. But it failed to arrive at a consensus.

The talks convened at the request of Russia broke down on the question of including a strong condemnation of North Korea's attack on a South Korean island.

"The US position is that it would have been constructive had it been possible to issue a strong and unanimous statement in which we made clear that it was the council's view that the attack by North Korea on the island of Yeonpyeongdo was to be condemned, and that we were clear as to what had transpired in addition to urging restraint," Rice told reporters.

Apparently veto-wielding members Russia, and China did not agree to the western nations demand to include a condemnation in the statement.

"At this point, since that was not possible, despite the fact that the vast majority of council members were prepared to do so, we don't think that it's particularly necessary or productive to continue the discussion," Rice said in response to a question.
"I think continued haggling over a statement whose relevance is largely past is not particularly productive," she said, adding that the goal is peace and security on the Korean Peninsula.

"I think it's unfortunate that almost all of the council was prepared to go in that direction last night, but not all of us," Rice said.

Meanwhile Wang Min, Deputy Chinese Ambassador to the UN, in a statement said maintaining peace and stability on the Peninsula is in the interest of both the South and the North, as well as other relevant parties.

"We strongly appeal relevant parties to: exercise maximum restraint, act in a responsible manner and avoid increase of tensions," he said.

He added that China has spared no effort to engage both sides and other relevant parties through various channels, in order to avoid broadening of differences, and escalation of tensions.

Chinese officials have in their candid and thorough discussions with leaders of the two countries, have urged the two sides to maintain calm and show restraint, pursue dialogue and engagement, and avoid taking any action that may worsen the situation, Wang said.

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