'Enough is enough': US urges UN Security Council action on North Korea's missile launches

The US on Monday urged the UN Security Council to take action over North Korea's ballistic missile tests.

North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile on Sunday in response to ongoing US-South Korean military drills.

"These launches are not only threatening, destabilizing and unlawful, they allow the (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) DPRK to advance the development of more sophisticated and dangerous weapons," US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the 15-member UN Security Council.

"The DPRK's irresponsible, unannounced launches also pose unacceptable risks to international aviation and maritime traffic".

She accused Russia and China of shielding North Korea, saying that "two members of this council believe we should stay silent".

"Our silence in the face of the DPRK's escalations weakens the council's credibility, jeopardizes the global non-proliferation regime, and emboldens the DPRK's appetite to flood this body's collective mandate," she said.

"Enough is enough. The United States implores council members to return to the level of cooperation that used to exist on the DPRK threat".

She proposed a Security Council presidential statement that would condemn North Korea's actions and call on Pyongyang to abandon its weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs if adopted.

UN Assistant Secretary-General Miroslav Jenca said that North Korea has conducted a total of 14 launches using ballistic missile technology in 2023.

"The DPRK greatly increased its missile launch activities in 2022, including approximately 70 launches using ballistic missile technology," he added.

He also warned that North Korea is "actively pursuing" its nuclear weapons program and that the situation on the Korean Peninsula continues to head in the wrong direction.

China's deputy UN ambassador Geng Shuang defended North Korea's latest ballistic missile launch, saying that it was a countermeasure in response to US-South Korea's joint military exercises.

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