Japan faces differences with China, Russia on North Korea


Tokyo : Japan has gained support from its allies in trying to get a new resolution passed in the UN Security Council in response to North Korea’s weekend rocket launch but still faces differences with China and Russia, Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone said Monday.

Support TwoCircles

“The various countries share the common concern that North Korea’s action has a grave impact on the region’s stability and security,” Kyodo News Agency quoted Nakasone as saying.

But there still remains “a certain degree of difference on how the UN Security Council should respond to that,” Nakasone said, referring to China and Russia, who hold veto power in the council.

Japan “won understanding to a certain extent from other members” when claiming North Korea’s rocket launch Sunday was a clear violation of UN Security Council resolutions during an emergency meeting Sunday in New York, he said.

Nakasone held telephone talks with five permanent council member states and said “China and Russia share the concern that this is a threat to the region, but they appear reserved and cautious as of now.”

China and Russia expressed understanding for Japan’s position but have not agreed that the rocket launch violated the resolutions.

North Korea Sunday launched what it claimed was a communications satellite, which passed over northeastern Japan.

Japan, the US and South Korea suspect it was a cover to test a long-range ballistic missile.

“Japan needs to negotiate with the UN Security Council to send out a strong message,” Hitoshi Tanaka, senior fellow at Japan Centre for International Exchange, told the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper.

But Tokyo needs to stay in solidarity with the international community, especially within the six-party framework, he said, referring to negotiations aimed at ending North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme, which involve North and South Korea, China, Japan,

Russia and the United States.