Eleven countries have condemned North Korea’s most recent ballistic missile launch, after Pyongyang’s state media claimed that it had conducted an “important test” on Sunday for developing a “reconnaissance satellite.”
U.S. deputy ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis issued a joint statement on Monday on behalf of 11 countries–the United States, Albania, Brazil, France, Ireland, Norway, the United Kingdom, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea–urging the U.N. Security Council to be unified in condemning North Korea’s “unlawful acts.”
DeLaurentis also mentioned that Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea were the latest countries to join the “chorus of voices condemning the DPRK’s action,” which refers to North Korea’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).
The 11 nations urged all U.N. members to implement all Security Council resolutions that obligate North Korea to abandon its weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs “in a complete, verifiable, and irreversible manner.”
Japan and South Korea on Sunday claimed to have detected an apparent ballistic missile being launched from Pyongyang’s east coast near Sunan. The South Korean military said that the missile flew to a maximum altitude of around 390 miles and a range of about 90 miles.
North Korean state media later claimed that the country conducted a test for developing a reconnaissance satellite that could photograph a specific area on earth from space. The report did not specify if a missile was used in the test.
“This is the 10th ballistic missile launch so far this year, each one a violation of multiple Security Council resolutions. We condemn these unlawful and destabilizing actions in the strongest terms,” the 11 nations said.
They also urged North Korea to engage in diplomacy talks and reaffirmed their readiness for dialogue.
North Korea also launched a Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile on Jan. 30, which was seen as being a step closer to Pyongyang lifting its self-imposed moratorium on testing long-range intercontinental ballistic missiles.
The nuclear-armed country previously said that it would consider restarting all temporarily suspended actions due to the United States not showing any signs of dropping its “hostile policies.”
Earlier this year, the United States imposed sanctions on six North Koreans, one Russian, and a Russian firm it said were responsible for procuring goods from Russia and China for North Korea’s weapons programs.
Washington also urged the U.N. Security Council to follow through on the sanctions. Representatives from China and Russia blocked the proposal, claiming that additional time and proof were required to support it.