After convening a closed-door session on Tuesday (US time), Britain, France, Germany, Poland, Belgium and Estonia issued a joint statement calling for Pyongyang to discard its weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs.
“We reiterate our condemnation of these provocative actions: they undermine regional security and stability and they are in clear violation of UN Security Council resolutions,” said the joint statement, delivered by French Ambassador to the UN Nicolas de Riviere. The UN resolution bans the regime from launching any kind of ballistic missiles.
“We urge the DPRK 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,” the statement said, adding that is the only way to achieve security and stability on the Korean Peninsula. DPRK refers to the North’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
North Korea launched what it claimed to be a new type of SLBM, the Pukguksong-3, in waters off Wonsan, Kangwon Province, on Oct. 2. South Korea’s military said the missile flew around 450 kilometers at a maximum altitude of about 910 km.
A day before the UNSC meeting, North Korea denounced the council members, saying that taking issue with its missile tests would only “further urge our desire to defend our sovereignty.” The closed-door meeting was requested by Germany, with the support of Britain and France.
“We know well that the United States is behind impure moves of the UK, France and Germany,” North Korea’s UN Ambassador Kim Song told reporters at Pyongyang’s UN mission.
“The United States and its followers should bear in mind that if they raise the issue of our self-defensive measures at the UN Security Council meeting in this moment, it will further urge our desire to defend our sovereignty,” Kim said.
While the US did not take part in issuing the joint statement, a deputy ambassador-level official reportedly attended the UNSC meeting on behalf of Kelly Craft, US ambassador to the UN.
North Korea test-fired the ballistic missile days ahead of working-level negotiations with the US after a monthslong impasse.
The working-level negotiations in Stockholm on Saturday ended without an agreement, with Pyongyang blaming Washington for failing to bring a new proposal. The US, however, said it had “good discussions” and that it brought “creative ideas.”
By Jo He-rim (firstname.lastname@example.org)