(LEAD) U.N. Security Council to hold meeting on N. Korean missile launch this week
(ATTN: UPDATES with S. Korea's plan to join the session in paras 3-4; CHANGES dateline)
By Byun Duk-kun
WASHINGTON/SEOUL, March 24 (Yonhap) -- The U.N. Security Council will hold a formal meeting this week to discuss North Korea's recent missile launches, the council's public schedule showed Thursday.
The session is scheduled to open in New York at 3 p.m. Friday.
South Korea said it plans to join the meeting to deliver its position on the North Korea issue, although it is not a member of the council.
"We plan to attend the upcoming meeting as a directly interested party," the foreign ministry said.
Earlier reports said the United States and five other security council members, including Britain and France, called for an emergency meeting of the 15-member council to discuss Pyongyang's missile tests.
The North fired an intercontinental ballistic missile Thursday (Seoul time), ending its self-imposed moratorium on long-range missile testing that had been in place since late 2017.
The launch marked the 12th show of force by North Korea since the start of the year, while the U.S. says the North had already tested its new ICBM system in its last two missile launches, staged Feb. 27 and March 5.
The U.S., together with others, had repeatedly demanded the U.N. Security Council to impose additional sanctions on North Korea following North Korea's 10 previous missile launches this year, but the calls have so far been blocked by China and Russia, both veto power-wielding permanent members of the Security Council and close allies of North Korea.
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