The UN chief condemned on Friday the latest ballistic missile launch by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), calling on Pyongyang to resume dialogue leading towards sustainable peace and a nuclear weapons-free Korean Peninsula.
Strongly condemning DPRK’s Thursday launch of an intercontinental-range missile, UN Secretary-General António Guterres reiterated his calls on Pyongyang to immediately desist from taking any further destabilizing actions.
News reports said the missile was fired just hours before the start of a Japan-Republic of Korean summit in Tokyo, on regional security – the first such meeting between the leaders of the two countries in 12 years.
Calls for compliance
The Secretary-General also called on DPRK, which is more commonly known as North Korea, to fully comply with its international obligations under all relevant Security Council resolutions.
In recent weeks, senior UN officials had echoed those calls, raising concerns about escalating tensions in the region. In February, the Security Council heard that DPRK had “greatly increased” missile launch activities in 2022, from a briefing by Mohamed Khaled Khiari, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Middle East, Asia and the Pacific in the Departments of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and Peace Operations.
Seventy of the launches had employed ballistic missile technology, Mr. Khiari said. The launches were characterized as involving systems with nuclear weapon roles, he explained, adding that most of the systems tested are capable of striking targets on the Korean Peninsula, and some capable of reaching parts of North America.
Mr. Khiari had also told that Council that missile launches in February had included what Pyongyang had termed as “a launching drill involving two ‘tactical nuclear’ rockets“.