The UN Security Council agreed at an emergency meeting late Wednesday to consider issuing a statement on the latest North Korean missile launch.
Malaysia’s UN Ambassador Ramlan Bin Ibrahim, the current council president, told reporters after the closed meeting that ”there was a general sense of condemnation by most members of the council.”
He said the United States is drafting the text of a press statement ”and we will have a look at it.”
After North Korea’s previous missile test, the US also proposed a press statement, but diplomats said China insisted on language linking it to US plans to place a high-tech missile defense system in South Korea. So the US dropped the statement, the diplomats said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the talks were private.
The US and Japan called for the emergency meeting after North Korea fired a ballistic missile from a submarine earlier Wednesday.
South Korean officials said the missile flew about 500 kilometers (310 miles), the longest distance achieved by the North for such a weapon.
That means all of South Korea, and possibly parts of Japan, are within its striking distance.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the missile launch, ”in defiance of the united call of the international community to reverse its course, is deeply troubling,” according to UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric.
”Not only are such actions a clear violation of relevant Security Council resolutions but they also undermine peace and stability in the Korean peninsula,” Dujarric said.
The secretary-general called on North Korea ”to take steps necessary to de-escalate the situation and return to dialogue on denuclearization,” he said.
A North Korean nuclear test in January and a series of missile launches by Pyongyang have all been carried out in violation of Security Council resolutions.