UNITED NATIONS, United States: The UN Security Council on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) strongly condemned North Korea’s latest attempted missile launches and urged world governments to ramp up efforts to impose sanctions on Pyongyang.
The council unanimously backed a US-drafted statement that demanded that North Korea “refrain from further actions, including nuclear tests,” which are in violation of UN resolutions.
French Ambassador Francois Delattre, who holds the council presidency this month, described the statement as a “firm and clear response from the Security Council” to North Korea’s latest actions.
Council members “strongly condemned” a series of failed missile launches on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila) and on April 27 and 28, which are in “grave violation” of North Korea’s international obligations, said the text.
China, Pyongyang’s sole ally, and Russia supported the statement that calls on UN member states to “redouble efforts to implement fully the measures imposed” on North Korea.
The council has adopted the toughest sanctions to date on North Korea after it carried out its fourth nuclear test in January and a rocket launch that was widely seen as a disguised ballistic missile test.
Among the sweeping measures is a new requirement that all countries must inspect cargo destined for and coming from North Korea, in all airports and sea ports.
The resolution bans or restricts exports of coal, iron, iron ore and other minerals from North Korea, and prohibits the supply of aviation fuel including rocket fuel.
The council tasked a UN sanctions committee to intensify its work and urged all governments to report as soon as possible on the concrete measures they are taking to implement sanctions.
A previous council move to condemn North Korea’s attempts to test-fire missiles in late April was blocked after Russia sought to include references to US-South Korean plans to develop missile defense.
Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters “not this time” when asked if he was planning to present amendments to the US text.
North Korea has been hit by five sets of UN sanctions since it first tested an atomic device in 2006.
The US Treasury said earlier it was taking steps to limit banks used by North Korea in other countries from accessing the US banking system.