Tuesday, September 21, 2021

UN Security Council condemns North Korean missile launch, US demands actions

The new US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley (R), addresses a Security Council on the situation in Ukraine in the Security Council chamber at United Nations headquarters in New York, New York, USA, 02 February 2017. EPA/JASON SZENES

United Nations, Feb 13 (EFE).- The United Nations Security Council on Monday unanimously condemned North Korea’s latest missile test, while the United States pushed for the response to include actions, and not just words.

Pyongyang’s first military challenge since Donald Trump’s arrival in the White House came on Sunday, when North Korean leader Kim Jong-un personally supervised the launch of a medium-range ballistic missile that landed in the Sea of Japan.

A day later, the Security Council held an urgent meeting to analyze the evidence and released a statement condemning the action by the Asian country.

In the statement, similar to earlier occasions, the highest decision-making body of the UN threatened to impose new “significant measures” against the North Korean regime, which would add to the harsh sanctions already in force.

However, no member state wanted to speak of possible concrete actions, while many insist on the importance of full implementation of existing punishments.

The new US administration, which is facing a North Korean missile launch for the first time, called on the Council “to use every available resource to make it clear to the North Korean regime – and its enablers – that these launches are unacceptable.”

South Koreans watching a television news broadcast at a station in Seoul, South Korea. According to reports quoting South Korea’s military, North Korea has test-fired an unidentified type of ballistic missile at 07:55 local time on 12 February 2017, from the Banghyon air base in the country’s western province of North Pyongan. The projectile reportedly flew some 500km towards the Sea of Japan. North Korea is under tough UN sanctions following its recent nuclear and missile tests at a moment of great tension in the Korean peninsula. EPA/KIM HEE-CHUL

“It is time to hold North Korea accountable – not with our words, but with our actions,” US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said in a statement.

Japan, which together with the US and South Korea requested an urgent meeting, was very satisfied with that clear message and suggested that it does not seek a new resolution against Pyongyang, but rather a way to strengthen the implementation of the current measures.

Beijing, which in recent years has distanced itself from the North Korean regime as a result of its continuing weapons tests, also condemned Sunday’s test.

At the same time, China also called upon all countries involved – in reference to the US, Japan and South Korea and their usual military maneuvers in the region – to refrain from actions that might aggravate the situation.

The statement agreed by the Council stresses that Sunday’s test contributes to the development of systems capable of transporting nuclear weapons.

The UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, also condemned the missile launch, which made it clear that this constitutes a new violation of existing UN Security Council resolutions.

Guterres has urged Pyongyang to change course and take the path of denuclearization in order to comply fully with its international obligations.