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UN Security Council kicks off closed meeting on DPRK
The UN Security Council on Wednesday kicked off a meeting behind closed doors to discuss the reported latest launch of two suspected missiles by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).
The 15-nation council began the meeting at around 15:15 EDT (19:15 GMT) at UN Headquarters in New York.
"The ballistic launches (by Pyongyang) are a clear and unacceptable violation of the Security Council resolutions," Francois Delattre, the French UN ambassador who holds the rotating council presidency for this month, told reporters here before the start of the closed meeting. "The North Korean ballistic programme is a serious threat to regional and international peace and security."
"Confronted with a threat of proliferation we consider that weakness is not an option," he said.
"Based on all this, we favour a quick and firm reaction of the Security Council."
"We will most likely have a meeting of the Council later this afternoon," he said. "And we hope that at one point we will have a press statement on this."
The council president said that the council meeting is only closed consultations at this stage. The meeting was convened at the request of the United States and Japan, UN officials said here.
DPRK has not confirmed the suspected test-launch of two missiles on Wednesday morning.
The state-run KCNA news agency told Xinhua in Pyongyang over the phone that it was not aware of the missile launches and asked Xinhua to wait for official news.
South Korea's Yonhap news agency quoted the Joint Chiefs of Staff as saying that the DPRK launched a second missile, which was believed to be a Musudan, at about 8:05 a.m. Seoul time (2305 GMT Tuesday) from Wonsan on the east coast, two hours after the DPRK test-fired a ballistic missile, which Seoul said was presumably a failure.
The latest intermediate-range missile launch was the sixth test-firing of its kind by Pyongyang after the five earlier launches were all believed to have failed.
The South Korean military said it is not clear whether Pyongyang's second launch on Wednesday was a success or not. It is believed that a ballistic missile is required to fly at least 300 km to be considered successful in test-firing. The second missile launched on Wednesday flew about 400 km.
On June 1, the Security Council "strongly condemned" the most recent failed ballistic missile launches by the DPRK on May 31 and April 27-28.
"These repeated attempted launches are in grave violation of the DPRK's international obligations under United Nations Security Council resolutions," the 15-nation UN council said in a statement.
The Security Council has adopted five resolutions — resolutions 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013), 2094 (2013) and 2270 (2016) — to curb the DPRK's nuclear and missile programs.
The latest one adopted in March imposes the most severe sanctions yet on the country, including an export ban and asset freeze
[Source: Xinhua, United Nations, 22Jun16]
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