UN Security Council strongly condemns North Korean missile tests

UNSC

The UN Security Council (UNSC) has strongly condemned and expressed grave concern at the ballistic missile launches conducted by North Korea on 18 March and on 10 March. Backed by China, the UNSC said in a unanimous statement that all these launches were unacceptable, constituted a clear violation of UNSC resolutions, and posed a threat to regional and international security. The statement was issued during a closed door meeting called by the US after North Korea test fired two medium range ballistic missiles. The council members also ordered Pyongyang to refrain from further actions in violation of UN resolutions.

North Korea fired the missiles on March 18 in defiance of UN resolutions prohibiting the country from developing nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities. “One of the missiles traveled 800 kilometers before crashing off the North’s east coast. A second missile disappeared from South Korean radar and appeared to have exploded in flight. Both were believed to be Rodong missiles fired from road-mobile launch vehicles. Rodong missiles have the potential to reach Japan,” South Korean officials said. North Korea did not declare a no sail-zone before launching the missiles, which violates international conventions to warn ships present in the region during the launches.

“We call again on North Korea to refrain from actions that further raise tensions in the region and focus instead on taking concrete steps toward fulfilling its international commitments and obligations,” Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement on March 18. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang has urged North Korea to abide by UN resolutions and not to do anything to fuel tensions. US Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Washington was “analysing the results of those launches,” but called on Beijing to use its influence over Pyongyang. Mr Carter also said that china could do a lot more, and Beijing should seek a nuclear-free North Korea.

The US government has slapped new sanctions on North Korea on March 16, which freeze North Korean government assets in the US and bans US exports to or investment in reclusive country. Recently, the UNSC had also imposed its toughest sanctions till date on North Korea after it undertook its fourth nuclear test.

The members were agreed that the UNSC would continue to closely monitor the situation and act as appropriate.

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