UNSC slams North Korea’s ballistic missile launches

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UNITED NATIONS, Aug 27 (APP): The UN Security Council Friday strongly condemned four North Korean ballistic missile launches in July and August, warning that it will take further measures against the South-East Asian country.

The 15-member UN Security Council issued its condemnation in a unanimous statement, which was drafted by the US and supported by China.

The council expressed “serious concern” over North Korea’s four ballistic missile launches in July and August, saying that they are “in flagrant disregard” of repeated UN appeals to Pyongyang to reverse the course.

It urged all UN member states “to redouble their efforts” to implement sanctions against Pyongyang, including the toughest measures in two decades imposed by the council in March.

Those sanctions reflected growing anger at Pyongyang’s nuclear test in January and a subsequent rocket launch.

North Korea has repeatedly brushed aside Security Council resolutions demanding an end to its nuclear and ballistic missile activities and has continued to launch missiles, escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula and in the region.

The latest submarine launch of a ballistic missile on Wednesday came days after the US and South Korea began military exercises, prompting North Korean threats of retaliation for the military drills, which it views as a rehearsal for invasion by the US and other adversaries.

South Korean officials said the submarine-launched missile flew about 500 kilometers, the longest distance achieved by the North for such a weapon. That means all of South Korea, and possibly parts of Japan, are within its striking distance.

The Security Council statement condemned the 23 August launch as well as the North’s ballistic missile launches on 2 August and 18 July and the firing of a submarine-launched ballistic missile on 9 July.