European UN council members condemn NKorea missile launches

UNITED NATIONS, United States (AFP) — European members of the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday condemned North Korea’s “provocative” ballistic missile launches and reaffirmed the need to enforce sanctions against the country.

“Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Poland, and the United Kingdom are deeply concerned by the continued testing of ballistic missiles by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, including the missile launches of 28 November,” read the statement.

The Europeans noted that Pyongyang “has conducted 13 sets of ballistic missile launches since May and continued to operate its nuclear program.

“We condemn these provocative actions,” the statement read. “They undermine regional security and stability, as well as international peace and security, and are in clear violation of unanimously adopted UN Security Council resolutions.”

The statement was released after a closed-door Security Council meeting on North Korea that the European countries had called for.

For the Europeans, it is “vital that the Security Council ensures full implementation of its resolutions and that sanctions remain in place.”

The statement called “on the international community to comply with the obligation to strictly enforce these sanctions.”

Starting in May, the Europeans have called for a Security Council meeting on North Korea after each North Korean missile test.

On November 28 — the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States-North Korea fired two “unidentified projectiles” as nuclear talks between Pyongyang and Washington remain deadlocked.

The projectiles were fired eastwards from South Hamgyong province and came down in the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said.

Pyongyang is banned from firing ballistic missiles under UN Security Council resolutions.

Nuclear talks between Pyongyang and Washington are stalled with a looming end-of-year deadline set by North Korea for some kind of US concession.

Talks have been deadlocked since the Hanoi summit broke up in February, and the North has issued a series of increasingly assertive comments in recent weeks as its time limit approaches.

UN diplomats fear that North Korea will resume long-range nuclear or ballistic tests if no progress is made soon.

© Agence France-Presse