US Seeks Security Council Unity on DPRK Missiles

Men watch a television showing a news broadcast with file footage of a North Korean military parade, at a railway station in Seoul, Feb. 20, 2023.

NEW YORK/SEOUL — The United States said Monday it would seek U.N. Security Council unity in responding to North Korea’s latest missile launches, despite previous opposition from China and Russia.

“I call on the council to condemn these ballistic missile launches,” U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield told council members. “I call on the council to urge the DPRK to comply with its international obligations under all relevant Security Council resolutions. And I call on the council to encourage the DPRK to engage in meaningful dialogue.”

DPRK is the abbreviation for North Korea’s formal name — Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Thomas-Greenfield said despite previous attempts by China and Russia to “shut down all efforts at a meaningful response,” Washington would propose a presidential statement to the council. That is a step below a resolution but must be unanimously agreed upon.

In May, Beijing and Moscow used their veto to block a U.S.-drafted resolution that would have imposed new sanctions on Pyongyang.

Following Monday’s council meeting, eight of the council’s 15 members, plus South Korea, joined the U.S. envoy in issuing a statement condemning DPRK’s latest launches.

On Monday morning local time, North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles in what it quickly made clear was retaliation for U.S.-South Korea joint aerial drills less than a day before.

The launch comes less than two days after Pyongyang launched a Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile in what it described as a “surprise” exercise to test its “mobile and mighty counterattack” capability. The ICBM could be seen in Japan’s exclusive economic zone, just 200 kilometers from Hokkaido.

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