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UNSC condemns North Korea’s missile test

By Ians English

New York, Feb 14: The UN Security Council unanimously condemned North Korea's latest missile test, while the US pushed for the response to include actions, and "not just words", the media reported.

Pyongyang's first military challenge since Donald Trump's arrival in the White House came on Sunday, when North Korean leader Kim Jong-un personally supervised the launch of a medium-range ballistic missile that landed in the Sea of Japan, Efe news reported.

In this Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017, photo distributed on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, by the North Korean government, “Pukguksong-2” is launched at an undisclosed location in North Korea.

On Monday, the Security Council held an urgent meeting to analyse the evidence and released a statement condemning the action.

In the statement, similar to earlier occasions, the highest decision-making body of the UN threatened to impose new "significant measures" against the North Korean regime, which would add to the harsh sanctions already in force.

In a communique by all 15 members, the Council declared that the North Korean missile launch was a "serious violation" of the country's international obligations and urged the regime to stop such actions.

However, no member state wanted to speak of possible concrete actions, while many insist on the importance of full implementation of existing punishments.

The new US administration, which is facing a North Korean missile launch for the first time, called on the Council "to use every available resource to make it clear to the North Korean regime - and its enablers - that these launches are unacceptable."

"It is time to hold North Korea accountable - not with our words, but with our actions," US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said in a statement.

Japan, which together with the US and South Korea requested an urgent meeting, was very satisfied with that clear message and suggested that it does not seek a new resolution against Pyongyang, but rather a way to strengthen the implementation of the current measures.

China, which in recent years has distanced itself from the North Korean regime as a result of its continuing weapons tests, also condemned Sunday's test.

At the same time, China also called upon all countries involved - in reference to the US, Japan and South Korea and their usual military manoeuvres in the region - to refrain from actions that might aggravate the situation.

The statement agreed by the Council stresses that Sunday's test contributes to the development of systems capable of transporting nuclear weapons.

The UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, also condemned the missile launch, which made it clear that this constitutes a new violation of existing UN Security Council resolutions.

Guterres has urged Pyongyang to change course and take the path of denuclearisation in order to comply fully with its international obligations.


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