UNSC slams North Korea’s missile tests as ‘grave violation’

UNSC slams North Korea’s missile tests as ‘grave violation’

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Security Council calls for member states to ‘redouble’ implementation efforts
John Power
The UN Security Council (UNSC) condemned North Korea’s latest back-to-back ballistic missile launcheson Thursday, vowing to ramp up the enforcement of existing sanctions designed to thwart its nuclear and missile programmes.The Security Council said Wednesday’s back-to-back launches of two Musudan mid-range missiles inflamed tensions and contributed to North Korea’s development of delivery systems for its nuclear weapons. It said the tests were in “grave violation” of North Korea’s international obligations under five separate resolutions dating back to 2006.
“The members of the Security Council further regretted that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is diverting resources to the pursuit of ballistic missiles while Democratic People’s Republic of Korea citizens have great unmet needs,” the New York-based body said in a statement released local time.
The Security Council also called on all member states to “redouble their efforts” to implement recent sanctions, which target North Korea’s sales of natural resources and imports of rocket and aviation fuel, and to report on their enforcement efforts “as soon as possible.”
On Wednesday, Pyongyang carried out its sixth and most successful test of the Musudan, which is believed to have a potential range of some 3,000 km, from its test site outside the port city of Wonsan.
After the launch of a Musudan on Wednesday that disintegrated after 150km, a second missile, dubbed Hwasong-10 in state media, is believed to have travelled 400 km and reached an altitude of 1,000km just hours later.
Previous tests ended in fiery explosions or crashes within seconds, according to U.S. and South Korean defense officials. The unprecedented flight was dubbed a “success” for North Korea’s missile program by analysts including Melissa Hanham of the California-based James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies.
With a fully functional Musudan, North Korea would be able to target all of Japan and the U.S. territory of Guam. On Thursday, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un hailed the launch of Hwasong-10 and warned that his country was fully capable of striking U.S. interests in the Pacific, state media reported.
Robert Kelly, a professor of political science at Busan University, said the UN’s response, while ineffectual, reflected a lack of credible options for reining in Pyongyang.
“It doesn’t change much,” he said. “The route to Pyongyang goes through Beijing not the UN, but the UN is useful for pressuring China — makes China look isolated against world opinion when it defends Pyongyang.” – NK News

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