Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 13 November 2019

UN Security Council to meet on Tuesday over North Korea missile launches

Closed-door discussion on ballistic missile tests as North Korea’s delegation arrives in Stockholm to resume nuclear talks with US

In this photo provided by the North Korean government, an underwater-launched missile lifts off in the waters off North Korea's eastern coastal town of Wonsan. AP
In this photo provided by the North Korean government, an underwater-launched missile lifts off in the waters off North Korea's eastern coastal town of Wonsan. AP

The UN Security Council will hold closed consultations on Tuesday over North Korea’s recent ballistic missile launches, diplomats said on Thursday.

Britain, France and Germany called for a council meeting after the recent missile tests, which are in breach of UN sanctions.

The council session will take place after Saturday’s meeting of US and North Korean officials in Stockholm.

It will be the first US-North Korean meeting since talks broke down in February at a second summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Vietnam.

Diplomats said some members wanted the Security Council to meet on Friday, before the US talks.

South African ambassador Jerry Matjila, the council president, and others said there were scheduling problems.

North Korea said on Thursday that it carried out its first underwater-launched ballistic missile test in three years.

The test on Wednesday was an apparent effort to increase pressure on the US before their weekend meeting.

In late August, the UK, France and Germany issued a statement condemning the “repeated provocative launches” of ballistic missiles by North Korea.

The western allies said that “international sanctions must remain in place and be fully and strictly enforced until North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes are dismantled".

The three countries urged North Korea “to engage in meaningful negotiations with the US", as Mr Trump and Mr Kim had agreed to on June 30 at their meeting in the demilitarised zone between the two Koreas.

North Korea responded days later, accusing the three countries of meddling in its “self-defensive measures for arms modernisation".

It said the West could make “no greater mistake” than thinking Pyongyang would give up its right to have weapons it says are needed to ensure peace, said Kim Son-gyong, an adviser at the Korea-Europe Association.

Updated: October 4, 2019 02:34 AM

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