US predicts UN will swiftly condemn North Korea launches

Posted August 06, 2016

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) will convene an emergency meeting at 4pm EST on Wednesday in order to discuss North Korea's recent ballistic missile launch.

"I just want to stress the necessity of a strong and swift response from the Security Council and a reminder that this missile launch landed incredibly closely to Japan and this program and its continued advancement poses a threat that goes well beyond any particular country", U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power said.

In South Korea, Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se said the latest missile launch further confirms the need for the deployment of U.S. Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense batteries here.

The council has repeatedly condemned North Korea's missile launches, but a US-drafted statement circulated last month following an apparent submarine-launched missile test was bogged down in discussion with China.

North Korea launched two medium-range ballistic missiles in the direction of Japan at around 7:50 a.m. on August 3 from a base in the South Hwanghae province on the country's western coast. South Korean defense officials say North Korea does not have the technical ability to do this yet. The United States, Japan and 10 other countries have requested a UN investigation of North Korea's ballistic missile tests in a move that could lead to targeted sanctions, according to a joint letter obtained by AFP yesterday.

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North Korea fired two ballistic missiles from its eastern shore on Wednesday morning.

Following that announcement, the Hermit Kingdom fired three ballistic missiles that had a range (between 300 and 360 miles) capable of reaching all of South Korea. He also said the launch by North Korea showed that their threats can become reality quickly.

The government also said North Korea is believed to have fired the missile from a mobile launcher, which makes it hard to detect preparations for launches.

The launch drew immediate condemnation, with Japan calling it an act of "violence".

Japan's ministry of defense said the second landed inside a 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone where Japan claims sovereign rights to exploitation and exploration of resources - the first time a North Korean missile had encroached upon that zone, according to Japanese media.

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North Korea vowed that it would have a "physical response" response to the THAAD announcement.

It was the first time since 1998 that a North Korean missile had landed inside Japan's EEZ and top government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said there had been no advance warning.

Japan has been particularly wary of North Korea's military aims.

U.S. Ambassador Powers said any suggestion that the North Korean missile tests were provoked by South Korea's decision to deploy an American advanced missile defense system "is not grounded in reality and it's not grounded in history". The North came under these U.N. Security Council resolutions in March following its fourth nuclear test in January and its launch of a long-range rocket in February.

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