March 2, 2022
SEOUL – UN Security Council members and nonmember states on Monday condemned North Korea’s ballistic missile launch “in the strongest terms” and issued a joint statement, notably with South Korea’s participation.
The UNSC swiftly held a closed-door consultation around a day after Pyongyang conducted its 10th ballistic missile launch on Sunday.
But the Security Council’s 15 members once again failed to concur on concerted action against North Korea’s consecutive ballistic missile tests, which contravene multiple UNSC resolutions.
Pyongyang has now fired 10 ballistic missiles in seven discrete launches between Jan. 5 and Feb. 27.
Instead, a total of 11 UN Security Council members and nonmembers issued a joint statement, which marks the fourth this year.
In the statement, the participating countries criticized the ballistic missile launch Sunday as another example of North Korea’s “recent pattern of destabilizing behaviors.”
“We condemn these unlawful and destabilizing actions in the strongest terms.”
The statement also dismissed Pyongyang’s claim that the missile launch Sunday was to develop a reconnaissance satellite, elucidating that multiple UNSC resolutions prohibit the country from “conducting launches that use ballistic missile technology.”
“This launch is a clear violation of multiple resolutions and should be condemned by the Council.”
The 11 countries urged the UNSC members to send a unified message and show coordinated action against North Korea’s repeated violations of UNSC resolutions.
“We call on all Council members to speak with one voice in condemning these dangerous and unlawful acts.”
Seven Security Council members — Albania, Brazil, France, Ireland, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States — agreed on the joint statement issued Monday.
But the remaining eight UNSC members, including China, India, Mexico, Russia, the United Arab Emirates and some African countries, did not lend their support.
Four nonmember states — South Korea, Australia, Japan and New Zealand — also joined international efforts to denounce North Korea’s consecutive ballistic missile launches.
South Korea conspicuously added its name to the joint statement for the first time this year.
South Korean Ambassador to the UN Cho Hyun made an appearance at a news conference, where Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis, senior adviser for special political affairs at the US Mission to the UN, read the statement on behalf of the countries.
Monday’s statement also urged all UN member states to “implement fully” the UNSC resolutions, which obligate North Korea to “abandon its weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs in a complete, verifiable, and irreversible manner.”
“The international sanctions regime is an important tool for addressing this threat to international peace and security.”
But at the same time, the 11 countries reaffirmed their commitment to “seeking serious and sustained diplomacy” while urging Pyongyang to “respond positively to outreach from the United States and others.”
“We urge the DPRK to choose the path of diplomacy to ease regional tensions and promote international peace and security,” the statement read, referring to North Korea.
“We stand ready to engage in dialogue, and we will not waver in our pursuit of peace and stability.”