DPR Korea launches ‘unprecedented number’ of missiles, Security Council hears

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And yet, despite conducting missile tests on Wednesday and Thursday, Mohamed Khiari told ambassadors that the DPRK, better known as North Korea, “has not yet publicly provided details” about the launches.

He pointed out that yesterday’s missile launch was “rated as an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)”, reportedly covering a range of 760 km and reaching an altitude of about 1,920 km, “indicating that …[it] may not have succeeded”.

Guterres condemns ‘barrage’ of missiles

Shortly before the meeting began at UN headquarters in New York, Secretary-General António Guterres, through his spokesman, issued a statement strongly condemning North Korea’s ICBM launch and the “barring” of other missiles over the past two days. .

It called on the DPRK to immediately cease all further reckless acts and to fully comply with its international obligations under relevant Security Council resolutions.

The UN chief expressed deep concern about the general tension in the Korean peninsula between north and south, and the proliferation of confrontational rhetoric.

Mr Guterres strongly urged North Korea to return to the negotiating table immediately and asked the main parties to resume their diplomatic efforts with a view to achieving lasting peace and a full and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

Flight, maritime safety

Mohamed Khiari, who briefed ambassadors on the details, said one of the ballistic missiles launched on Wednesday reportedly fell into the sea near the territorial waters of the Republic of Korea, better known as South Korea.

“It is alarming that the North Korea has consistently and irresponsibly failed to consider international flight or maritime security‘ said the senior UN official.

While the DPRK’s National Aviation Administration stated on Oct. 8 after an earlier launch that operations posed no risk to civil aviation or the region as a whole, aircraft operators are required to assess the safety of their own flight operations.

“To meet this obligation, operators rely on coordination between air traffic services authorities, as well as the dissemination of timely information about hazards,” he explained.

‘Action-Reaction Cycle’

The Deputy Secretary General recalled that the current meeting was: the ninth time this year that the Council has met to discuss North Korea.

After the final briefing on October 5, he recalled the DPRK’s claim that its seven previous missile launches were all part of “tactical nuclear operation units.”

“While all involved are trying to avoid an unintended escalation, the wave of missile launches and military exercises is contributing to a negative action-reaction cycle”, underlined Mr Khiari.

To reduce the risk of miscalculations and reduce tensions in the region, he said it was “critical” that communication channels be strengthened, “including inter-Korean and military to military”.

Security Council unity… is essential to reduce tensions – UN Deputy Secretary General

Call for unity

While the secretariat is in close contact with all sides, including North Korea, the UN official stressed that the Council should do everything possible to avoid an escalation, given the potential risks associated with military confrontation.

“Unity in the Security Council is critical,” he described, adding that it “also creates an opportunity to seek exit and continued diplomatic engagement”.

Separately, Mr Khiari drew attention to the DPRK’s worrying humanitarian situation.

“The United Nations system, in coordination with international and humanitarian partners, stands ready to send personnel and aid to assist the DPRK government in addressing medical and humanitarian needs, including those related to the COVID-19 crisis. pandemic,” he offered.

To allow for a timely and effective response, the Deputy Secretary-General reiterated the call for “unfettered access of international personnel and humanitarian supplies”.

He concluded by reiterating that “the Security Council’s unity in this matter is essential to reduce tensions, break the diplomatic deadlock and the negative action-reaction cycle”.



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