The UN Security Council has denounced North Korea’s latest missile test, unanimously demanding that Pyongyang halt the program after a rocket was fired over Japan into the Pacific.
Following the emergency closed-door session called by the United States and Japan, Tokyo’s envoy at the UN suggested that a new sanctions declaration could be issued.
“Next step starting now. We can’t predict the outcome but I certainly hope it would be a strong resolution following this statement,” Koro Bessho said on Tuesday.
The 15-member body maintained its unity after Kim Jong-Un’s latest provocation, with China and Russia agreeing to sign up to a statement condemning his isolated regime’s action.
But the US-drafted statement, while noting that the test contravened several previous Security Council resolutions, will not immediately lead to new or tightened measures against Pyongyang.
Still, diplomatic sources told AFP that the speed with which the members had reacted underlined their determination to remain united.
“The Security Council stresses that these DPRK actions are not just a threat to the region, but to all UN member states,” said the statement, issued after closed-door talks at UN headquarters.
“The Security Council expresses its grave concern that the DPRK is, by conducting such a launch over Japan as well as its recent actions and public statements, deliberately undermining regional peace and stability.”
The Council demanded that North Korea — already the target of seven rounds of UN sanctions that have done little to quell Kim’s nuclear missile ambitions — obey all existing resolutions.
This would mean the North “abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner, and immediately cease all related activities.”
Pyongyang must not “conduct any further nuclear tests or any further provocation; and abandon any other existing weapons of mass destruction in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner.”
Finally, the body “welcomes efforts by Council members, as well as other states, to facilitate a peaceful and comprehensive solution through dialogue.”
(With inputs from agencies)