The United States accused China and Russia on Monday of shielding North Korea from any action by the U.N. Security Council for its unprecedented spate of intercontinental ballistic missile launches, which violate multiple U.N. resolutions and jeopardize international aviation and maritime safety.

U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield told a council meeting that Chinese and Russian “obstructionism” was encouraging North Korea “to launch ballistic missiles with impunity” and advance its development of more sophisticated and dangerous weapons.

After the meeting, she read a statement on behalf of council members Albania, Ecuador, France, Japan, Malta, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom, joined by South Korea, that condemned the launches.

It said the growing crisis threatens not only the region but global peace and stability, and called for the Security Council to speak again with one voice. Unlike Thomas-Greenfield in her remarks, the statement did not name China and Russia, though it clearly referred to them.


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