11:09 19 March 2016
U.N. Security Council denounces N. Korea's missile launches
By Seana K. Magee
NEW YORK, March 18, Kyodo
The U.N. Security Council on Friday slammed North Korea for its recent launches of short- and medium-range ballistic missiles, calling them a violation of past U.N. resolutions.
"The members of the Security Council strongly condemned and expressed grave concern at the ballistic missile launches conducted by (the North) on March 18 and on March 10," according to a press statement issued after a closed-door emergency meeting.
Calling the latest missile firing "another destabilizing, dangerous launch," U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power also pointed out that it was carried out "at a cost of millions and millions of dollars which could be used of course to provide food for the people that this regime continues to starve."
North Korea fired a ballistic missile, believed to be a medium-range Rodong model, into the Sea of Japan early Friday. Following the launch, a second ballistic missile was fired but disappeared from South Korea's military radar.
Pyongyang last launched a medium-range missile, which has a capability of striking Japan, on March 26, 2014.
On March 10, the North also fired two short-range ballistic missiles in waters off its east coast, with a subsequent declaration that it would sever all economic exchanges with South Korea.
The U.N. Security Council's statement also called on Pyongyang to "refrain from further actions" and "comply fully with its obligations" under past resolutions.
The statement also urged member states to "redouble their efforts to implement" measures set out in previous resolutions. The most recent sanctions resolution was adopted on March 2 after the North carried out its fourth nuclear test in January and a subsequent long-range rocket launch in February.
"We confirmed today the unity of the Security Council on this issue," Japan's Ambassador Motohide Yoshikawa said after the statement's adoption, adding all 15 council members "were on board."
"I hope this message goes through (to North Korea)," he added.
Angola's Ambassador Ismael Gaspar Martins, as the current rotating president of the month, told reporters he hoped diplomatic engagements could be started again.
"We hope that with that, we should be able to see sooner (rather) than later the six-party talks starting," he said, referring to the stalled multiparty talks involving China, Japan, both Koreas, the United States and Russia on ending North Korea's nuclear program.
Japan, the United States and South Korea called for the emergency meeting.