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US, UN allies condemn N. Korea missile launches

March 8, 2022

North Korea has tested nine missiles since the beginning of the year. Eleven countries have called on the UN Security Council to condemn Pyongyang's actions.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield speaks as British Ambassador to the U.N. Barbara Woodward and Albania's Ambassador to the U.N. Ferit Hoxha listen
Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield (center) said the US was committed to seeking 'serious and sustained' diplomacyImage: Carlo Allegri/REUTERS

The United States and 10 other countries have condemned North Korea's repeated missile launches this year.

The joint statement on Monday came two days after Pyongyang tested what regional military authorities reported as a ballistic missile.

North Korea had "violated multiple Security Council resolutions" with its March 5 weapons test, the statement read.

US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield read the joint statement after a closed Security Council briefing on North Korea's latest test.

The US was joined in the statement by Albania, Australia, Brazil, France, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea and the United Kingdom.

The 11 countries also bemoaned the failure of the UN Security Council to respond, saying inaction had eroded its credibility.

"Each ballistic missile launch that results in inaction by the council erodes the credibility of the UN Security Council itself in addressing [North Korea] and undermines the global non-proliferation regime," said Thomas-Greenfield.

She said that while North Korea "escalates its destabilizing actions, the Security Council continues to remain silent."

The statement called on all 15 members of the Security Council "to speak with one voice in condemning these dangerous and unlawful acts."

Where does the Security Council stand on the missile tests?

The UN's most powerful body has been unable to reach an agreement on a common stance on North Korea's recent launches.

This has partly been due to resistance from permanent members Russia and China, which remain main allies of the North.

Neither of the two countries endorsed the statement.

The council first imposed sanctions on Pyongyang after its first nuclear test in 2006, and toughened them after subsequent tests.

US committed to 'serious and sustained' diplomacy

Washington and its allies have repeatedly offered dialogue with North Korea without preconditions.

Thomas-Greenfield reiterated this position on Monday, saying the US was committed to seeking "serious and sustained" diplomacy with the North.

But Pyongyang had opted instead for an "increasingly escalatory series of ballistic missile launches in total violation of international law," she said.

adi/rt (AP, Reuters, dpa)