The United Nations Security Council has strongly condemned the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's (DPRK) launch of a ballistic missile from a submarine on 23 August, which follows a series of recent tests and launches the Council said is a “grave violation” of the DPRK's international obligations and “in flagrant disregard” of repeated calls to halt such activity.
In a press statement issued late yesterday evening, the Council also strongly condemned the DPRK's ballistic missile launches conducted on 2 August and 18 July, and the launching of a submarine-launched ballistic missile by the country on 9 July.
Council members said this string of recent launches is in grave violation of the DPRK's international obligations under relevant Council resolutions 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013), 2094 (2013) and 2270 (2016).
Deploring all ballistic missile activities by the DPRK, including the most recent launches, the Council noted that such activities contribute to the country's development of nuclear weapons delivery systems and increase tension.
The Council's 15-members further regretted that the DPRK is diverting resources to the pursuit of ballistic missiles while the country's citizens have great unmet needs.
Further, Council members expressed “serious concern” that the DPRK conducted these ballistic missile launches after the 15 April, 23 April, 27 April, 28 April, 31 May and 21 June launches, “in flagrant disregard of the repeated statements of the Security Council.”
As such, the Council reiterated that the DPRK shall refrain from further actions, including nuclear tests, in violation of the relevant resolutions and comply fully with its obligations under those Council texts.
The Security Council in its statement went on to call on all Member States to redouble their efforts to implement fully its measures imposed on the DPRK, particularly the comprehensive measures contained in resolution 2270 (2016), which among others, expands arms embargo and non-proliferation measures, including small arms and light weapons, and enforces new cargo inspection and maritime procedures, including mandatory inspection on cargo destined to and originating from the DPRK.
Directing the panel established to monitor all measures imposed on the DPRK, known as the 1718 Committee after the 2006 resolution that created it to intensify its work to strengthen enforcement of resolution 2270 (2016) , the Council also directed the Committee to assist Member States to comply with their obligations under that resolution and other relevant texts.
The members of the Security Council also called on Member States to report as soon as possible on concrete measures they have taken in order to implement effectively the provisions of resolution 2270 (2016).
Reiterating the importance of maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in North-East Asia at large, the Council expressed its commitment to a peaceful, diplomatic and political solution to the situation and welcomed efforts by Council members, as well as other States to facilitate a peaceful and comprehensive solution through dialogue.
The members of the Council went on to stress the importance of working to reduce tensions in the Korean Peninsula and beyond, and agreed to closely monitor the situation and take further significant measures in line with its previously expressed determination.