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  21 Oct 2021, 10:12
Update : 21 Oct 2021, 10:41

US, Europeans condemn NKorea submarine missile launch at UN

 UNITED NATIONS, United States, Oct 21, 2021 (BSS/AFP) - The United States,
Britain and France confirmed Wednesday to the UN that North Korea has made
progress in its weapons programs following the groundbreaking launch of a
ballistic missile from a submarine.

  Speaking to the media one after the other, ahead of a closed-door Security
Council meeting that had been urgently called by Washington and London, the
ambassadors of the western states all condemned the launch the day before as
a new "provocation."

  Without speaking of possible new sanctions or joint action by the council,
they said they would call for existing international sanctions to be more
effectively implemented.

  At the end of the meeting, neither China nor Russia, the two other
permanent members of the Security Council, spoke out.

  According to diplomats who spoke on condition of anonymity, no member of
the Security Council proposed a joint statement from the body.

  During the last emergency closed-door meeting, held on October 1 after
North Korean missile tests, France proposed the adoption of a joint text but
Beijing and Moscow refused, according to diplomats.

  "We firmly condemn this provocative action which constitutes a clear
violation of the UN Security Council resolutions," said Geraldine Byrne
Nason, the ambassador for Ireland, which together with Estonia joined the
confirmation of North Korea's weapons capability upgrade.

  She said the submarine missile launch "underlines the continued enhancement
of the nuclear and ballistic program of the DPRK (Democratic Republic of
North Korea), which stated its ambition to ultimately acquire sea-based
nuclear capabilities."

  In 2017, then-US president Donald Trump persuaded the Security Council to
unanimously adopt three series of increasingly strict economic sanctions
against North Korea, hitting imports of oil into the country as well as its
exports of coal, iron, fish and textiles.

  - 'Be more serious' -

  "The DPRK must immediately end its destabilising actions, and take concrete
steps to abandon its ballistic missile, other WMD, and nuclear programmes in
a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner," said the Irish envoy.

  "These launches clearly demonstrate the need for the full and effective
implementation of UN sanctions, as well as the urgent need to address
sanctions evasion by the DPRK," she added.

  The US ambassador to the council, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said that "each
new advancement of the DPRK's weapons of mass destruction and ballistic
missile programs destabilizes the region and threatens international peace
and security."

  "The United States calls on the DPRK to refrain from further provocations,"
which she said were "unlawful activities... in violation of multiple Security
Council resolutions."

  "We also call on all member states to fulfill their sanctions obligations,"
she added. "We already have a sanctions regime in place, we just need to be
more serious about the implementation of that regime. We need to focus on
those who are violating sanctions."

  The Trump administration had denounced China by name, accusing it of not
fully applying international sanctions, a charge that Beijing denied.

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