SEOUL, South Korea – The latest on North Korea’s missile launch (all times local):
The U.N. Security Council is strongly condemning North Korea’s latest ballistic missile test and vowing to impose new sanctions in response to its “flagrant and provocative defiance” of council demands to halt all nuclear-related tests.
A press statement issued by the council late Monday expresses “utmost concern” at what it calls North Korea’s “highly destabilizing behavior” and demands that Pyongyang conduct no further nuclear or ballistic missile tests.
The U.N.’s most powerful body says that North Korea is “greatly increasing tension in the region and beyond” and that it is vitally important the country immediately show “sincere commitment to denuclearization through concrete action.”
The statement stresses the importance of working to reduce tensions and maintain peace and stability on the Korean peninsula.
The Security Council also calls on all countries to implement the six North Korea sanctions resolutions it already has adopted “in an expeditious and serious manner.”
Council diplomats say the U.S. and China, the North’s closest ally, have been working on a new sanctions resolution.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is condemning the latest North Korean ballistic missile test as a violation of Security Council resolutions and a threat to peace and security in the region.
U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Monday that Guterres had called on North Korea to fully comply with its international obligations “and return to the path of denuclearization.”
The Security Council has approved six increasingly tougher sanctions resolutions following its nuclear and missile tests. The United States and China are reportedly working on a new even tougher resolution.
France’s U.N. ambassador says Security Council members are working on a resolution that would impose new sanctions against North Korea and strengthen enforcement of existing sanctions.
Francois Delattre told reporters Monday that France favors “a strong, swift and firm reaction of the council” to North Korea’s test on Sunday of a new longer-range ballistic missile, which he called “a serious threat to peace and security both in the region and the world.”
The Security Council is scheduled to hold closed-door consultations on the missile test on Tuesday.
British U.N. Ambassador Matthew Rycroft also called the test a threat to international peace and security and said “the U.K. favors tougher sanctions.”
Swedish U.N. Ambassador Olof Skoog said the council needs a firm, united response but “we also feel there needs to be openness for a conversation for dialogue.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin has condemned North Korea’s latest test-firing of a ballistic missile.
North Korea on Sunday launched what it said was a new type of “medium long-range” ballistic rocket that can carry a heavy nuclear warhead.
Speaking to reporters during his visit to China, Putin said Monday that “there’s nothing good about” the launch.
The Russian defense ministry said the missile landed several hundred kilometers away from the city of Vladivostok in Russia’s Far East, but Putin said the missile “didn’t present a threat” to his country.
In comments carried by Russian news agencies, Putin said Russia considers North Korea’s missile launches and nuclear tests to be “unacceptable,” adding that “we need to return to a dialogue with North Korea, stop intimidating it and find peaceful solutions.”
North Korea’s ambassador to China says that Pyongyang’s test-firing of a ballistic missile over the weekend is part of the country’s efforts to develop ways to defend itself against hostile aggression abroad.
Ji Jae Ryong told reporters Monday at the North Korean Embassy in Beijing that Pyongyang would continue to conduct launches in the future, as long as the country’s supreme leader deemed necessary.
North Korea says Sunday’s launch was of a new type of “medium long-range” ballistic rocket that can carry a heavy nuclear warhead.
Ji also repeated an assertion by North Korean officials that Pyongyang has successfully foiled a CIA-backed plot to kill leader Kim Jong Un last month with a biochemical poison.
Australia’s prime minister has called on China to use its leverage over North Korea to end the regime’s missile testing.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told reporters in Sydney on Monday that North Korea’s conduct was “reckless,” ”provocative” and “unlawful.” Australia will work with the United States and other countries to impose sanctions on Pyongyang.
“The greatest responsibility for bringing North Korea to its senses … lies with China,” Turnbull says.
“They have the overwhelming dominant economic relationship with North Korea and because they have the greatest leverage, they have the greatest responsibility,” he added.
North Korea says the medium long-range strategic missile it tested over the weekend can carry a nuclear warhead.
The country’s official Korean Central News Agency says the missile fired Sunday Korea time was a Hwasong-12 “capable of carrying a large-size heavy nuclear warhead.”
The South Korean, Japanese and U.S. militaries say the missile flew for half an hour and reached an unusually high altitude before landing in the Sea of Japan. Tokyo says the flight pattern could indicate a new type of missile.
Japanese officials say the missile flew for about 30 minutes, traveling about 800 kilometers (500 miles) and reaching an altitude of 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles).