UN Security Council strongly condemns North Korean missile launch



NEW YORK, Helen Corbett (dpa) – The UN Security Council on Tuesday strongly condemned the latest North Korean missile launch as "outrageous" and urged Pyongyang to take concrete actions to defuse tensions.
The US, Japan and South Korea called an emergency meeting at UN headquarters in New York after Pyongyang launched a missile that flew over the Japanese island of Hokkaido and landed in the Pacific Ocean.



The Security Council expressed grave concern at the launch and demanded that North Korea abandon all nuclear and ballistic missile programmes in accordance with its resolutions.
Pyongyang’s recent missile launches were "deliberately undermining regional peace and stability and have caused grave security concerns around the world," a statement read.
North Korean state media reported Tuesday that leader Kim Jong Un was present at the launch, which Pyongyang’s official mouthpiece KCNA called a "muscle-flexing" exercise in response to joint US and South Korean military drills currently being conducted.
According to KCNA, Kim described the launch as "a meaningful prelude to containing Guam" and said North Korea would conduct "more ballistic rocket launching drills with the Pacific as a target in the future."
Earlier, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley called on all nations to implement Security Council sanctions against North Korea, and said it was time for the North Korean regime to "recognise the danger they are putting themselves in."
"The US will not allow this lawlessness to continue," Haley told the Security Council, after US President Donald Trump said that "all options are on the table" in dealing with North Korea.
Russia and China argued that it was important to seek a dialogue with Pyongyang.
Russia’s Ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia said addressing the issues plaguing the peninsula through sanctions and pressure alone was impossible. "We categorically reject military solutions," he added.
Liu Jieyi of China also called for a resumption of the six-party talks – an international forum on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula made up of the Koreas, China, the US, Japan and Russia.
Liu also called on all parties to "exercise restraint and avoid provocative actions," such as the stationing of the US THAAD anti-missile system in South Korea and unilateral sanctions imposed by countries outside of the Security Council.
Last week, the US and Japan placed new sanctions on entities and individuals that support North Korea, in countries such as China and Russia.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres also condemned the launch in a statement Tuesday and called on Pyongyang to reopen channels of communication.
The ballistic missile was fired at 5:58 am (2058 GMT Monday) near the North Korean capital Pyongyang and flew over the Japanese island of Hokkaido before falling 1,180 kilometres east of the area, according to Japanese authorities.
North Korea fired three missiles into the Sea of Japan on Saturday, the US Pacific Command confirmed, saying two of them flew some 250 kilometres.
The US also successfully lobbied the UN earlier this month for sanctions on North Korea that are expected to cut the reclusive nation's export revenues by a third.
Tensions between Pyongyang and Washington escalated this month, as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un threatened to fire missiles into waters near Guam and Trump threatened to rain "fire and fury" on North Korea.
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Wednesday, August 30th 2017
Helen Corbett
           


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