The United States, Japan and South Korea stood united Tuesday in demanding that the U.N. Security Council condemn North Korea's latest ballistic missile launches and take further action to enforce its orders to halt nuclear and missile tests.
While no statement was yet issued by the UNSC following the meeting, the Ambassadors to the United Nations from the U.S., South Korea and Japan, emerged to make statements before the press.
North Korea test-fired three missiles into the sea yesterday, Seoul said, in a new show of force as world leaders met for the G20 summit in China.
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South Korean Ambassador Hahn Choong-hee (C) speaks to the press next to Japanese Ambassador Koro Bessho (R) and US Ambassador Samantha Power following the United Nations Security Council closed door meeting to discuss the latest missile launches by North Korea at the United Nations in Manhattan, New York, US, September 6, 2016. "The launches constitute an act of grave provocation that showNorth Korea's nuclear and missile development poses actual threats to neighbouring countries, the worldwide community as well as to Korean Peninsula, and the government strongly condemns them", said South Korean foreign ministry spokesman Cho June-hyuck.
The leaders of South Korea and the United States on Tuesday stressed China's role in enforcing sanctions against North Korea and resolving the communist state's nuclear conundrum, saying the allies would continue communications with Beijing.
Hahn Choong Hee, South Korea's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, said Pyongyang was spending "a considerable amount" of its resources in developing weapons of mass destruction while sacrificing the living conditions of North Koreans.
"The [US] administration talk about turning up the volume of its message, which seemed to me a bit ironic as Kim Jong-un is always photographed at these missile launches with earplugs".
North Korea has staged a series of recent missile tests with increasing range, part of a program that aims to eventually build long-range nuclear missiles capable of striking the US mainland.
North Korea fired three ballistic missiles off its east coast on Monday.
With each test, she said, the North demonstrates further advancement of its ballistic missile program whose aim according to the country's leader Kim Jong Un is "to arm the systems with nuclear weapons".
The tests not only threaten Japan's national security but the region and beyond, he said, stressing that the missiles were launched without any prior notification and could have hit planes or ships.
"President Park and I agreed that the entire global community needs to implement these sanctions fully and hold North Korea accountable", Mr Obama said.
What action the council takes remains to be seen and a lot depends on China, the North's neighbor and only major ally, though ties have frayed over the nuclear and missile tests and what many outsiders see as other provocations in recent years. But he didn't mention any further council action.
"There were very strong and numerous voices in the room for doing more", she said.
"Taking into consideration the importance of China's role in effective implementation of sanctions and the resolution process of the North Korean nuclear issue, our two countries have agreed to continue to communicate with China through various channels", Park said.