The US has asked the UN Security Council to condemn North Korea's recent missile tests. The American ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said on Monday (local time) in New York that the United States would submit a presidential statement to this end.
"We call on all members of this council to join us in strongly condemning the North Korean government's illegal activities and encouraging the North Korean government to engage in diplomacy."
Japan requests emergency meeting
On Monday night, North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan (Korean: East Sea). The country, which is largely isolated internationally, had already launched a long-range rocket on Saturday. Japan had therefore requested an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council.
In the most powerful UN body, the USA failed in May with a resolution for stricter international sanctions against Pyongyang. Russia and China vetoed the vote in New York.
UN decisions prohibit North Korea from testing any ballistic missiles that - depending on the design - can also carry a nuclear warhead. The country is subject to international sanctions for its nuclear weapons program.
UN Ambassador: Inaction shameful and dangerous
Thomas-Greenfield said North Korea's continued violations of UN Security Council resolutions required a response. "We are charged with maintaining international peace and security." But two permanent members have forced the body to remain silent, despite North Korea's countless violations.
"I urge the Council to condemn these ballistic missile launches." She called the council's inaction shameful and dangerous. "Now is the time for the Security Council to work together towards a peaceful solution for the Korean Peninsula before it's too late."
The conflict had become significantly more explosive since last year. The communist-ruled country increased the scope and pace of its missile tests. South Korea and the USA resumed their maneuvers in full. North Korea regularly accuses Washington of preparing an attack through its exercises in South Korea. This is denied by Seoul and Washington.