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UN Security Council slams Pyongyang's launches of ballistic missiles
The UN Security Council on Monday "strongly condemned" the most recent ballistic missile launches by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), saying that "these launches are in grave violation of the DPRK international obligations under UN SC resolutions."
The 15-nation UN body was "unanimous" in condemning the DPRK ballistic missile launches on Feb. 11, 2017 and Oct.19, 2016 while the council met behind closed doors here on Monday afternoon, Boloymyr Yelchenko, the Ukrainian permanent representative to the United Nations, who holds the rotating council presidency for February.
The closed council meeting, which kicked off shortly after 17:00 EST (22:00 GMT) on Monday and lasted about 50 minutes, took place at the request of the United States, Japan and South Korea.
"The members of the Security Council deplore all the DPRK ballistic missile activities, including these launches, noting that such activities contribute to the DPRK's development of nuclear weapons delivery systems and increase tension," the council president said while reading a press statement from the most powerful UN body.
"The members of the Security Council further regretted that the DPRK is diverting resources to the pursuit of ballistic missiles while DPRK citizens have great unmet needs," the statement said.
"The members of the Security Council expressed serious concern that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea conducted these ballistic missiles launches after the April 15, April 23, April 27, April 28, May 31, June 21, July 9, July 18, Aug. 2, Aug. 23, Sept. 5, and Oct. 14 launches, as well as the nuclear test of Sept. 9, in flagrant disregard of the repeated statements of the Security Council," the statement said.
The DPRK has claimed that it had successfully test-fired Pukguksong-2, a surface-to-surface medium- and long-range ballistic missile, and its top leader Kim Jong Un guided the test firing, according to the state news agency KCNA.
Under relevant UN resolutions, the DPRK is barred from staging ballistic missile launches or nuclear weapons tests.
"The members of the Security Council reiterated that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea shall refrain from further actions, including nuclear tests, in violation of the relevant Security Council resolutions, and comply fully with its obligations under these resolutions," the statement said.
"The members of the Security Council called upon all member states to redouble their efforts to implement fully the measures imposed on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea by the Security Council, particularly the comprehensive measures contained in resolutions 2321 (2016) and 2270 (2016)," said the statement.
"The members of the Security Council reiterated the importance of maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in North-East Asia at large, expressed their commitment to a peaceful, diplomatic and political solution to the situation and welcomed efforts by Council members, as well as other States, to facilitate a peaceful and comprehensive solution through dialogue," the statement said. "The members of the Security Council stress the importance of working to reduce tensions in the Korean Peninsula and beyond."
"The members of the Security Council agreed that the Security Council would continue to closely monitor the situation and take further significant measures, in line with the Council's previously expressed determination," the statement said.
Earlier Monday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres strongly condemned the DPRK's latest launch of another ballistic missile, saying that "this action is a further troubling violation of Security Council resolutions."
Guterres said in a statement issued here by his spokesman that "The DPRK leadership must return to full compliance with its international obligations and to the path of denuclearization."
[Source: Xinhua, United Nations, 13Feb17]
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