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Biden condemns N. Korea's defiance of UNSC resolutions, remains committed to diplomacy

Sept. 20, 2023 - 09:52 By Yonhap
This file photo shows US President Joe Biden walking to the White House from Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, US, September 17. (Reuters-Yonhap)

US President Joe Biden on Tuesday condemned North Korea's continued violation of UN Security Council resolutions but reiterated his commitment to diplomacy to achieve the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Biden made the remarks in a speech at the UN General Assembly as a recent summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Russian President Vladimir Putin deepened concerns about a potential arms deal that would violate multiple UNSC resolutions.

"We condemned the DPRK's continued violation of UN Security Council resolution," Biden said, referring to the North by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. "But we are committed to diplomacy to bring about the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."

Seoul and Washington have criticized the recalcitrant regime in Pyongyang for its relentless violations of UNSC resolutions through its weapons tests, including the launch of two short-range ballistic missile launches just last week.

The allies are also keeping a watchful eye on the outcome of last week's rare summit between Kim and Putin as a potential weapons deal between them could run afoul of UNSC resolutions. Kim apparently wants military technology cooperation from Russia, while Moscow is seen seeking more ammunition from the North for use in Ukraine.

In his speech, Biden touched on a wide range of foreign and security policy issues, ranging from Iran's nuclear issue to the climate crisis.

On Iran, he underscored the US' commitment that "Iran must never acquire nuclear weapons."

"We are working with our partners to address Iran's destabilizing activities to threaten regional and global security," he said.

Touching on the war in Ukraine, he said that the UN gathering "dedicated to peaceful resolution of conflict" has been "darkened by the shadow of the war."

"Russia alone bears responsibility for this war ... Russia alone has the power to end this war immediately," he said. "Russia alone stands in the way of peace because Russia's price for peace is Ukraine's capitulation, Ukraine's territory and Ukraine's children."

On his China policy, the president said the US seeks to "responsibly" manage competition with the Asian power as it looks to "derisk" the bilateral relationship rather than decoupling it.

"We also stand ready to work together with China on issues where progress hinges on a common effort," he said.

However, the US will push back on "aggression and intimidation" and defend the rules of the road for freedom of navigation at sea and overflight, he added. (Yonhap)