Britain, France, Germany request U.N. meeting on N.K. missile launch

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK-- Britain, France and Germany on Thursday requested a closed-door meeting of the United Nations Security Council to discuss North Korea's recent test of a submarine-launched ballistic missile.

The meeting was requested for Friday, but it will likely take place next week, Reuters reported.

Speaking during a parliamentary audit of his mission, South Korean Ambassador to the U.N. Cho Tae-yul said he was briefed that the meeting had likely been postponed to next week.

North Korea's test of what it called a new submarine-launched ballistic missile came Wednesday ahead of the resumption of working-level denuclearization negotiations with the United States this weekend.

Asked by Rep. Park Jeung of the ruling Democratic Party if the apparent rescheduling was intended to see the results of the upcoming U.S.-North Korea negotiations, Cho said, "I think so, too."

Submarine-launched missiles are harder to detect than ground-based ones, increasing the threat posed to the U.S. and its allies.

U.N. Security Council resolutions ban the North from testing ballistic missile technology. They also impose tough economic sanctions on the regime in a bid to stop the development of its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.

In August, the same three countries requested a closed-door meeting to address North Korea's repeated short-range ballistic missile tests since May.

Britain and France are permanent, veto-wielding members of the council, along with the U.S., China and Russia. Germany is currently a nonpermanent member.

The three countries issued a statement after the meeting condemning the launches and urging the North to take concrete steps toward denuclearization while engaging in meaningful negotiations with the U.S.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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