UN condemns North Korea missile launch, vows new sanctions

2017-05-23 08:28
A file image of a missile launch by North Korea. (Ahn Young-joon, AP)

A file image of a missile launch by North Korea. (Ahn Young-joon, AP)

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New York - The Security Council on Monday strongly condemned North Korea's "flagrant and provocative defiance" of UN sanctions banning ballistic missile tests.  

All 15 council members, including the North's closest ally China, approved the statement ahead of emergency closed consultations on Tuesday where France's UN Ambassador Francois Delattre said a new sanctions resolution will be discussed.

He told reporters on Monday that France hopes the council will move ahead on a strong resolution that demands better implementation of existing sanctions and tougher new sanctions against North Korea.

The council statement, similar to previous condemnations, said North Korea's "illegal ballistic missile activities are significantly contributing to its development of nuclear weapons delivery systems and are greatly increasing tension in the region and beyond".

Council members vowed to "fully and comprehensively" implement the six rounds of sanctions the UN's most powerful body has already imposed against North Korea and strongly urged all other UN member nations "to do so in an expeditious and serious manner."

Last Friday, North Korea's deputy UN ambassador Kim In Ryong told UN correspondents that the government will rapidly strengthen its nuclear strike capability as long as the United States maintains its "hostile policy" toward the country.

Mass-production

The North followed up with a weekend test-launch and declared on Monday that it is ready to start mass-producing the new medium-range ballistic missile which it said is capable of reaching Japan and major US military bases there. It called the missile an "answer" to US President Donald Trump's policies.

Kim, the North Korean envoy, told Friday's news conference that if the Trump administration wants peace on the Korean Peninsula it should replace the Armistice Agreement that ended the 1950-53 Korean War with a peace accord and halt its anti-North Korea policy, "the root cause of all problems."

The Security Council statement emphasised "the vital importance" of North Korea "immediately showing sincere commitment to denuclearisation through concrete action".

To reduce tensions on the Korean peninsula, it demanded that Pyongyang halt nuclear and missile tests.

Council members reiterated the importance of maintaining peace and stability on the peninsula and in the region and expressed their commitment "to a peaceful, diplomatic and political solution to the situation".

They also welcomed efforts by council members and others to facilitate "a peaceful and comprehensive solution through dialogue."

Read more on:    un  |  us  |  north korea  |  military

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