India, the US, UK and France were among the countries who strongly condemned North Korea’s ballistic missile launch on November 18, underlining that these launches affect the peace and security of the region and beyond.
The so-called Hwasong-17 missile flew a distance of 1,000 km at an altitude of approximately 6,100 km, and is reportedly the first successful test of the DPRK’s largest and most powerful missile, capable of reaching all of North America.
Noting that the launch was “the latest in a series of alarming activities” related to North Korea’s nuclear weapon and ballistic missile programmes, UN Political and Peace building Affairs (DPPA) head Rosemary DiCarlo said, ““It is reportedly the first successful test of the DPRK’s largest and most powerful missile, capable of reaching all of North America.”
THE MANY LAUNCHES
The launch was “the latest in a series of alarming activities” related to North Korea’s nuclear weapon and ballistic missile programmes. DiCarlo pointed out that it has conducted over 60 launches using ballistic missile technology this year, two of which involved ballistic missiles characterised by the DPRK as intermediate-range, and three as intercontinental-range.
Other launches included shorter-range missiles using ballistic technology and other systems, which the DPRK has stated are to be utilized as so-called “tactical” nuclear weapons.
This year it has also carried out launches using ballistic missile technology to test so-called hypersonic weapons and satellite systems.
“Unannounced launches represent a serious risk to international civil aviation and maritime traffic”, she underscored.
VIOLATION AND CONCERN
North Korea’s continued pursuit of its nuclear weapons programme and ballistic missiles launches “blatantly violate” relevant Security Council resolutions and have significantly escalated tensions.
DiCarlo reiterated calls on the DPRK to “desist from taking further provocative actions and to fully comply with its international obligations under relevant Security Council resolutions”.
The DPRK also appears to be actively pursuing its nuclear programme, the UN political chief warned.
She quoted comments made last Wednesday by the head of the UN nuclear watchdog, IAEA, who said that the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site “remains prepared to support a nuclear test”.
Furthermore, IAEA has continued to observe activity at the site and construction activities at the Yongbyon nuclear facilities, as well as indications that the 5-megawatt nuclear reactor was operating.
India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj expressed concern at the UN Security Council. She said that the latest launch came after other ballistic missile launches in the preceding months. She said that these violated the resolutions of the Security Council relating to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and affects the peace and security of the region and beyond.
The United States urged all nations to enforce sanctions on North Korea, saying it violated U.N. Security Council resolutions with a launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile. US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield delivered a joint statement on behalf of Albania, Brazil, France, India, Ireland, Japan, Norway, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States at the UN Security Council stakeout on North Korea’s ballistic missile launches.
“The United States, Albania, Brazil, France, India, Ireland, Japan, Norway, the Republic of Korea, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom, strongly condemn the DPRK’s long-range ballistic missile launch which overflew Japan” on October 4 and its seven other ballistic missile launches conducted since September 25,” said the joint statement.
The joint statement called on the member states to fully implement the relevant Security Council resolutions.
Noting that following North Korea’s provocations and escalatory behaviour in 2017, the Council came together and unanimously took action to hold the DPRK accountable for its unlawful actions, the joint statement said that “now again the DPRK is testing the Council’s resolve and we must act accordingly.
Noting that this was the sixth launch in a short span Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said “This absolutely cannot be tolerated.”