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U.N. Security Council members condemn N. Korea's missile tests: diplomats

All Headlines 02:57 September 07, 2016

NEW YORK, Sept. 6 (Yonhap) -- Members of the U.N. Security Council strongly condemned North Korea's latest ballistic missile launches as the council held an urgent meeting to discuss how to respond to the continuing provocations by Pyongyang, diplomats said.

The meeting came a day after the North fired three Rodong medium-range missiles off its east coast. The missiles flew about 1,000 km and landed in waters some 400 km inside Japan's air defense identification zone, according to South Korea's military.

The barrage was the latest in a number of missile launches of all ranges -- short, medium, intermediate and submarine missiles -- the communist nation has been carrying out since its fourth nuclear test in January and a long-range rocket launch the following month.

Such launches represent a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions that ban the North from any activity using ballistic missile technology over concern that it can be used to develop long-range missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons.

"There was a much stronger show of unity. All members recognized these launches as a blatant violation of the Security Council resolutions and other commitments by North Korea. They all opposed and condemned the launch in very strong terms," Japan's U.N. ambassador, Koro Bessho, told reporters after the meeting.

The council stopped short of adopting a formal statement condemning the launches.

However, U.S. Amb. Samantha Power said she has "every expectation" that the council will adopt a statement, just as it did with Chinese consent last month when the North successfully carried out a test of a submarine-launched ballistic missile.

"The Security Council must remain unequivocal and united in condemnation of this test and we must take action to enforce the words we put on paper, to enforce our resolutions," she said, calling for stringent implementation of U.N. sanctions.

Power also said that the reason the U.S., South Korea and Japan called Tuesday's meeting is because with "each violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions, and there have been 22 of them so far this year, the DPRK demonstrates further advancement of its ballistic missile program."

"This launch, which I would note took place while China was hosting the G20 summit, once again shows the DPRK's blatant disregard for its international obligations and its willingness to provoke and to threaten the international community with impunity," Power said.

"The DPRK's missile test helped it threaten the territory of even more countries in the region, whether through its land-based missiles or now via its recently tested submarine-launched ballistic missiles. Once the DPRK has the capability to do so, we know what they intend to do with these missile systems ... They intend to arm the systems with nuclear weapons," she said.

Amb. Hahn Choong-hee, deputy chief of South Korea's mission to the U.N., also called for greater efforts to curb the North's weapons programs.

"North Korea's advancement of nuclear and missile capability, if unchecked, will continue to pose a serious threat to regional peace and security as well as the nonproliferation regime," he said.
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