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European members of the UNSC respond to North Korea’s SLBM Launch

Hot Issues of the Week2019-10-13

ⓒKBS News

European members of the United Nations Security Council have condemned North Korea's latest missile launch as a clear violation of UN resolutions and urged the regime to engage in "meaningful" denuclearization negotiations with the United States.

Britain, France, Germany, Poland and Belgium, as well as Estonia, which will join the council in January, issued the joint statement Tuesday after a closed-door session of the Security Council in New York.

France's Ambassador to the UN, Nicolas de Riviere, said Britain, France and Germany  requested the meeting because of their "deep collective concern" about Pyongyang's test-firing of what they called a new submarine-launched ballistic missile last Wednesday.

Pointing out that the SLBM test followed a series of short-range ballistic missile launches in previous months, the ambassador called on the Security Council to uphold its resolutions, which ban the North from using ballistic missile technology, and enforce all sanctions on the regime.

He said the UN Security Council urged North Korea to engage in good faith in meaningful negotiation with the United States and to take concrete steps with a view to abandoning all weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner. He also stressed that there is no other way to achieve security and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in the region.

Following the joint statement, North Korea on Thursday lashed out at the European countries, calling the statement a “grave provocation”.

The remarks were said by the North’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, according to the Korean Central News Agency, Pyongyang’s official gazette.

The spokesperson said North Korea's patience has its limits and that the test was a justified measure for self-defense.

The North also accused the UN Security Council of not taking issue with the recent U.S. test of the Minuteman-III intercontinental ballistic missile.

The spokesperson's statement warned that Pyongyang might reconsider the preemptive steps it has taken to build trust with Washington.

Such steps are believed to refer to suspending nuclear tests and the launch of ICBMs.

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