UN council condemns North Korea missile launches

The UN Security Council strongly condemned North Korea for test-firing ballistic missiles and agreed to take "significant measures" in response the latest series of launches.

The 15-member council issued the toughly-worded condemnation in a unanimous statement drafted by the United States and backed by China, Pyongyang's main ally.

Council members agreed to "continue to closely monitor the situation and take further significant measures," said the statement, without elaborating.

North Korea has been hit by five sets of UN sanctions since it first tested a nuclear device in 2006.

In March, the council adopted the toughest sanctions resolution to date, targeting North Korea's trade in minerals and tightening banking restrictions.

The council met behind closed doors on Wednesday after North Korea launched a missile from a submarine towards Japan, the latest provocation from Pyongyang.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said, the missile breached his country's Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) and condemned what he called an "unforgivable, reckless act" and a grave threat to Japan's security.

The council condemned that launch as well as another on August 2 that for the first time fell in Japanese controlled-waters and two other missile tests on July 9 and 18, saying these were all "in grave violation" of UN resolutions.

North Korea is barred under UN resolutions from any use of ballistic missile technology, but Pyongyang has carried out several launches following its fourth nuclear test in January.

Topics: North Korea , United Nations , UN , Missiles , Military
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