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(LEAD) UNSC working on statement condemning Pyongyang's latest missile provocation

All Headlines 23:31 August 26, 2016

(ATTN: ADDS N. Korea's response in paras 6-7)

SEOUL, Aug. 26 (Yonhap) -- The U.N. Security Council has asked its member countries to review a draft version of a press statement condemning North Korea's latest missile provocation, diplomatic sources said Friday.

The UNSC held an emergency behind-closed-doors meeting on Wednesday (local time) at the request of South Korea, the United States and Japan to discuss counteractions against the North's test-firing of a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) earlier the same day.

The missile flew some 500 kilometers before landing in waters near Japan, demonstrating an improvement in performance from previous SLBM launches.

According to diplomatic sources, the Security Council drew up and circulated a draft statement to its member countries, which subsequently entered into the "silence procedure" during which they will review its content. If there is no objection, the statement will be adopted as is.

The sources said that the member countries of the council had already reached a consensus to adopt a statement condemning the North's latest missile provocation.

The North condemned the UNSC's move to draft the statement, saying it is a "vicious provocation."

"There is movement among some impure groups wishing to encourage an anti-communism atmosphere when our national scientists and technicians successfully carried out (SLBM) which is considered more advanced than the level of submarine test-firing," said North Korea's foreign ministry in a statement.

The UNSC recently failed to adopt a similar statement in the wake of the North's launch of two mid-range ballistic missiles earlier this month in defiance of its relevant resolutions.

China's unilateral push to reflect its opposition to Seoul and Washington's plan to place an advanced missile defense system on the Korean Peninsula was cited as the main reason for the botched attempt.

A foreign ministry official here said that negotiations are underway among council members and that South Korea is making the necessary diplomatic efforts through close cooperation with its key allies.

He, however, didn't elaborate on details on the ongoing negotiations or other information.


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