UN Security Council condemns North Korea missile launches

NEW YORK, 7th September, 2016 (WAM) -- The UN Security Council has strongly condemned North Korea's latest ballistic missile launches, saying that they contributed to Pyongyang's development of nuclear weapons capability.

North Korea fired three ballistic missiles into the sea off its east coast on Monday, the South Korean and US militaries said, as the leaders of the Group of 20 major economies held a summit in China, the North's main diplomatic ally.

The missiles likely landed in the sea 200 to 250 km west of Hokkaido, Japan's northern-most main island.

"The members of the Security Council deplore all Democratic People’s Republic of Korea ballistic missile activities, including these launches," the UN body said in a statement. "Such activities contribute to [North Korea's] development of nuclear weapons delivery systems and increase tension."

Earlier, the United States had called for action to enforce Security Council resolutions on North Korea prohibiting ballistic missile-related activities.

"The Security Council must remain unequivocal and united in the condemnation of these tests, and we must take action to enforce the words we put on paper, to enforce our resolutions," said US Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, after a Security Council meeting.

Power, who spoke along with her Japanese and South Korean counterparts, refrained from elaborating on what further action the Security Council could take.

Hahn Choong Hee, South Korea's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, said that Pyongyang was spending "a considerable amount" of its resources in developing weapons of mass destruction while sacrificing the living conditions of North Koreans.

Monday's missile launches were the latest in a series by North Korea this year in violation of Security Council resolutions that were supported by China banning ballistic missile-related activities by Pyongyang.


WAM/Ahlam/Moran