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UNSC ‘strongly’ condemns N.K.’s ballistic missile launches

March 19, 2016 - 10:32 By 이지윤

The United Nations Security Council “strongly condemned” North Korea on Friday for its test-firing of ballistic missiles, saying that the North’s provocation cannot be accepted.

After holding an emergency session, the UNSC issued a statement saying that the North's latest missile launches are “unacceptable” and “constituted a clear violation” of relevant UNSC resolutions.

Picture released from North Korea`s official Korean Central News Agency shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un guiding the construction of Ryomyong Street in Pyongyang. AFP-Yonhap

The reaction came as North Korea launched two medium-range ballistic missiles on Friday into waters off its east coast in a show of defiance against tougher U.N. sanctions on it. One of the missiles appears to have blown up mid-flight.

Last week, North Korea also fired two short-range missiles into the East Sea.

“The members of the Security Council strongly condemned and expressed grave concern at the ballistic missile launches,” the 15-member body said in a unanimously adopted statement.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also urged North Korea on Friday to refrain from “inflammatory and escalatory actions” in response to the missile launches.

In early March, the UNSC imposed stronger sanctions on Pyongyang over its fourth nuclear test on Jan. 6 and long-range rocket launch on Feb. 7.

North Korea has been already banned from using ballistic missile technology under relevant UNSC resolutions. The North is under a series of U.N. sanctions for its previous three nuclear tests in 2006, 2009 and 2013.

The North has claimed that its rocket launch was to send a satellite into orbit, but outside experts view the North’s move as a cover for a banned test of ballistic missile technology.

The new sanctions require U.N. member states to conduct mandatory inspections of all cargo going into and out of North Korea and ban the exports of mineral resources, a main source of hard currency for the cash-strapped North.

In recent days, the North has ratcheted up its bellicose rhetoric against South Korea and the United States, threatening that it is ready to make “pre-emptive” attacks against them.

Earlier this week, North Korea‘s leader Kim Jong-un said that his country plans to conduct nuclear warheads explosion and ballistic missiles tests “in a short time.”

The North also claimed that it has succeeded in making nuclear warheads small enough to be mounted atop ballistic missiles. But Seoul and Washington said given their own analysis, the North has yet to master such miniaturization technology. (Yonhap)