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UN should 'break silence' over NK provocations: S. Korean envoy

By Son Ji-hyoung

Published : Jan. 19, 2024 - 12:30

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Members of the United Nations Security Council vote on a proposal to demand that Israel and Hamas allow aid access to the Gaza Strip during a meeting at the UN headquarters in New York on Dec. 22. (Reuters-Yonhap) Members of the United Nations Security Council vote on a proposal to demand that Israel and Hamas allow aid access to the Gaza Strip during a meeting at the UN headquarters in New York on Dec. 22. (Reuters-Yonhap)

The United Nations should break its silence over the growing North Korean provocations, including the latest test-firing of long-range missiles, said Hwang Joon-kook, permanent representative of South Korea to the UN, on Thursday.

Hwang was quoted as saying by news reports that "the UN Security Council needs to break the silence over the way it (reacts)" to North Korean issues, adding it has become a "big question" for the UN Security Council to answer.

The remarks came after the UN Security Council held a closed-door consultation over North Korean nonproliferation and other matters at the UN headquarters in New York. It was the first UN Security Council meeting over issues related to North Korea since Seoul began its two-year term as a nonpermanent member.

Hwang said "in-depth consultations took place" at the UN Security Council.

North Korean threats have been escalating over the past month while ties between North Korea and Russia have further developed, in a follow-up of its weapons aid to Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

Earlier this week, North Korea claimed it had tested a solid-fuel hypersonic intermediate-range missile that yielded a success on Sunday, while North Korean Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui met Russian President Vladimir Putin Tuesday in Moscow.

In the meantime, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Tuesday said it would no longer pursue reunification with South Korea and called for the rewriting of its constitution to describe South Korea as its "primary enemy."

The top nuclear envoys of South Korea, Japan and the United States met Thursday in Seoul, in the first meeting of its kind since October, to "block North Korea's illicit activities," according to South Korea's top nuclear envoy Kim Gunn.