UNSC condemns N. Korea’s missile launches: Seoul

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) condemned North Korea's four recent ballistic missile launches and agreed to take "significant" measures against Pyongyang, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Saturday.

The council issued a press statement strongly denouncing North Korea's missile tests in a unanimous decision reached on Friday (New York time), the ministry said.

On Aug. 24, North Korea fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) from the East Sea, prompting the council to hold an emergency meeting to discuss counteraction. The missile flew some 500 kilometers before landing in waters near Japan.

The latest launch followed another SLBM launch on July 9 and two ballistic missile tests on July 19 and Aug. 3.

"The members of the Security Council strongly condemned the launching of a SLBM by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Aug. 23 (New York time)," a copy of the statement, released by the ministry, showed.

The press statement also condemned the three previous launches.

"These launches are in grave violation of the DPRK's international obligations under the UNSC resolution 1718, 1874, 2087, 2094, and 2270," the statement said, referring to all the UNSC resolutions imposed on North Korea's nuclear and missile programs. "The members of the Security Council deplore all DPRK ballistic missile activities, including these launches, noting that such activities contribute to the DPRK's development of nuclear weapons delivery systems and increase tension."

The UNSC called on all U.N. member states to "redouble their efforts" to implement fully the measures imposed on the DPRK, saying North Korea shall refrain from further actions like nuclear tests.

"The members of the Security Council agreed that the Security Council will continue to closely monitor the situation and take further significant measures in line with the Council's previously expressed determination," the statement noted.

It also stressed the "importance of maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula," committing to seek a peaceful, diplomatic and political solution to the situation.

The South Korean government mustered multilateral diplomatic efforts to induce the UNSC's stern response to North Korea's provocations, and the latest UNSC press statement comes as a meaningful action that sends out the international community's clear and strong message toward North Korea, the South Korean foreign ministry said.

"The government will continue efforts to intensify this kind of international cooperation on bilateral and multilateral diplomatic occasions in the future," according to the ministry.

The latest UNSC statement came after the council's previous attempts to issue condemnation of North Korea's recent ballistic launches ended unsuccessfully.

The UNSC tried to issue a press statement condemning North Korea's ballistic missile launch on Aug. 3, but it was thwarted as China insisted that the statement include Beijing's position that North Korea's missile threats should not be a pretext to deploy the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system on the Korean Peninsula.

The latest press statement reflects growing tension on the peninsula.

As Seoul and Washington kicked off their annual two-week military exercise Ulchi Freedom Guardian on Aug. 22, North Korea threatened a preemptive nuclear strike on the allies.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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