UNSC slams North Korea’s missile test, threatens new sanctions

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UNITED NATIONS, May 16 (APP): The U.N. Security Council has condemned North Korea’s latest ballistic missile test, and warned of slapping new sanctions on the East Asian country for its “flagrant and provocative defiance” of earlier demands to end all nuclear testing.
In a unanimous statement late Monday backed by China, the 15-member Council voiced “utmost concern” about Sunday’s launch, described by Pyongyang as a mid-to-long range missile that traveled 787 kilometers before plunging into the Sea of Japan.
The statement called the launch “highly destabilizing behaviour” that “is greatly increasing tension in the [East Asia] region and beyond.” It further called on all countries to implement the six North Korean sanctions resolutions already adopted by the world body “in an expeditious and serious manner.”
Earlier Monday, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said he is sending special envoys around the world in a push to strengthen Seoul’s global ties in the wake of the launch. The president said the envoys will meet with high-ranking officials to exchange ideas and explain the new South Korean government’s policy plans.
North Korea said early Monday that the latest launch was personally supervised by leader Kim Jong Un. The official North Korean news agency, KCNA, said the launch aimed at showing the technical capability to carry a “large scale heavy nuclear warhead.”
The Council stressed on the importance of North Korea “immediately showing sincere commitment to denuclearization through concrete action”.
Pyongyang should “conduct no further nuclear and ballistic missile tests”, it said.
The Council has imposed six sets of sanctions against the North since 2006.
Earlier on Monday, North Korea’s KCNA state news agency said the test of a “newly developed mid/long-range strategic ballistic rocket, Hwasong-12” had gone to plan.
“The test-fire aimed at verifying the tactical and technological specifications of the newly developed ballistic rocket capable of carrying a large-size heavy nuclear warhead,” it said.
But it remains unclear whether it has the ability to make the weapons small enough to be mounted on a rocket, and it has never tested an ICBM which could reach, for example, the US.
ICBM’s are considered to have a range of about 6,000km, but analysts believe the missile tested on Sunday would have travelled about 4,000km if it had been fired at a standard trajectory rather than upwards.