The U.N. Security Council convened an emergency meeting on Wednesday over North Korea’s latest missile launches, aiming to issue a statement on the acts seen as violating the council’s resolutions.
“A press statement is currently under discussion in the council which should reiterate all these important messages of firmness addressed to the North Korean regime,” France’s deputy Ambassador Alexis Lamek told reporters after the closed-door meeting, chaired by France.
He said that members agreed the latest launches violate past Security Council resolutions.
Diplomats expected the statement to be issued on Thursday as Beijing needed more time to review it.
Japan’s newest U.N. ambassador, Koro Bessho, who arrived to take up the post Wednesday, told reporters, “Members of the Security Council have agreed they have to send a strong message.”
“The launch does harm to peace and security in the region and to international society,” he said.
Speaking to reporters, U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power said, “The fact that DPRK continues to defy the will of a unified international community, to defy international law underscores how important it is for us to come together and to ensure consequences for this inherently destabilizing behavior and this inherent and consistent and repeated threat to international peace and security.”
She was referring to the official name of the country, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
Before the meeting, Francois Delattre, France’s U.N. ambassador told reporters, “Confronted with the threat of proliferation, we consider that weakness is not an option and based on all this we favor a quick and firm reaction of the Security Council.”
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon also expressed concerns through a statement issued through his spokesman, Farhan Haq.
In it Ban called on Pyongyang to alter its course as the launches are “brazen and irresponsible.”
“The DPRK must change its course for a denuclearized Korean Peninsula,” he said in the statement.
Pyongyang’s continued pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles “will only undermine its security and fail to improve the lives of its citizens,” he also said, stressing the humanitarian consequences of its ambitions.
The emergency meeting was requested by the United States and Japan, who also consulted with South Korea, after the two launches Wednesday morning in North Korea.
One of the missiles flew about 400 kilometers and reached an altitude of more than 1,000 km, prompting global concerns amid what appears to be technological advances.
On Thursday, North Korea’s official media reported that its leader Kim Jong Un oversaw the successful test-firing of a missile.