UN con­demns North Korea’s ‘highly provoca­tive’mis­sile test

Sun.Star Pampanga - - WORLD! -

UNITED NA­TIONS — The UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil strongly con­demned North Korea’s “highly provoca­tive” bal­lis­tic mis­sile test on Fri­day and de­manded that Py­ongyang im­me­di­ately halt its “out­ra­geous ac­tions” and demon­strate its com­mit­ment to de­nu­cle­ariz­ing the Korean penin­sula.

The UN’s most pow­er­ful body ac­cused North Korea of un­der­min­ing re­gional peace and se­cu­rity by launch­ing its lat­est mis­sile over Ja­pan and said its nu­clear and mis­sile tests “have caused grave se­cu­rity con­cerns around the world” and threaten all 193 UN mem­ber states.

North Korea’s long­est-ever test flight of a bal­lis­tic mis­sile early Fri­day from Su­nan, the lo­ca­tion of Py­ongyang’s in­ter­na­tional air­port, sig­naled both de­fi­ance of North Korea’s ri­vals and a big tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance. Af­ter hurtling over Ja­pan, it landed in the north­ern Pa­cific Ocean.

Since US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump threat­ened North Korea with “fire and fury” in Au­gust, the North has con­ducted its most pow­er­ful nu­clear test, threat­ened to send mis­siles into the waters around the USPa­cific island ter­ri­tory of Guam and launched two mis­siles of in­creas­ing range over Ja­pan. July saw the coun­try’s first tests of in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­siles that could strike deep into the US main­land when per­fected.

The in­ter­me­di­ate-range mis­sile test came four days af­ter the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil im­posed tough new sanc­tions on the North for its Sept. 3 mis­sile test in­clud­ing a ban on tex­tile ex­ports and nat­u­ral gas im­ports — and caps on its im­port of oil and pe­tro­leum prod­ucts. The U.S. said the lat­est sanc­tions, com­bined with pre­vi­ous mea­sures, would ban over 90 per­cent of North Korea’s ex­ports re­ported in 2016, its main source of hard currency used to fi­nance its nu­clear and mis­sile pro­grams.

North Korea’s For­eign Min­istry de­nounced the sanc­tions and said the North would “re­dou­ble its ef­forts to in­crease its strength to safe­guard the coun­try’s sovereignty and right to ex­is­tence.”

The Se­cu­rity Coun­cil stressed in Fri­day’s press state­ment af­ter a closed-door emer­gency meet­ing that all coun­tries must “fully, com­pre­hen­sively and im­me­di­ately” im­ple­ment all UN sanc­tions.

Ja­pan’s UN Am­bas­sador Koro Bessho called the launch an “out­ra­geous act” that is not only a threat to Ja­pan’s se­cu­rity but a threat to the world as a whole.”

Bessho and the Bri­tish, French and Swedish am­bas­sadors de­manded that all sanc­tions be im­ple­ment ed.

Call­ing the lat­est launch a “ter­ri­ble, egre­gious, il­le­gal, provoca­tive reck­less act,” Bri­tain’s UN Am­bas­sador Matthew Ry­croft said North Korea’s largest trad­ing part­ners and clos­est links — a clear ref­er­ence to China — must “demon­strate that they are do­ing ev­ery­thing in their power to im­ple­ment the sanc­tions of the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil and to en­cour­age the North Korean regime to change course.”

France’s For­eign Min­istry said in a state­ment that the coun­try is ready to work on tougher UN and EU mea­sures to con­vince Py­ongyang that there is no in­ter­est in an es­ca­la­tion, and to bring it to the ne­go­ti­at­ing ta­ble. It said North Korea will also be dis­cussed dur­ing next week’s an­nual gath­er­ing of world lead­ers at the Gen­eral Assembl y.

The Se­cu­rity Coun­cil also em­pha­sized the im­por­tance of North Korea work­ing to re­duce ten­sion in the Korean Penin­sula — and it re­it­er­ated the im­por­tance of main­tain­ing peace and sta­bil­ity on the ter­ri­tory di­vided be­tween au­thor­i­tar­ian North Korea and demo­cratic South Korea.

The coun­cil wel­comed ef­forts by its mem­bers and other coun­tries “to fa­cil­i­tate a peace­ful and com­pre­hen­sive so­lu­tion” to the North Korean nu­clear is­sue through di­a­logue.

Rus­sia’s UN Am­bas­sador, Vass­ily Neben­zia, strongly backed the need for di­a­logue say­ing the United States needs to start talks with North Korea, which the Trump administration has ruled out.

Neben­zia told re­porters af­ter the meet­ing that Rus­sia called on the US and oth­ers to im­ple­ment the “po­lit­i­cal and diplo­matic so­lu­tions” called for in the lat­est sanc­tions res­o­lu­tion.

“With­out im­ple­ment­ing this, we also will con­sider it as a non-com­pli­ance with the res­o­lu­tion,” Neben­zia said, adding that it also may be time for the coun­cil to “think out of the box” on how to deal with North Korea.

The grow­ing fre­quency, power and con­fi­dence dis­played by Py­ongyang’s nu­clear and mis­sile tests seem to con­firm what gov­ern­ments and out­side ex­perts have long feared: North Korea is closer than ever to its goal of build­ing a mil­i­tary ar­se­nal that can vi­ably tar­get US troops both in Asia and in the US home­land.

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