The United States and several allies on Thursday issued a joint condemnation of North Korea’s most recent ballistic missile launches and urged the thorough implementation of U.N. sanctions.
“It is extremely important that member states take the necessary steps to implement the sanctions in their jurisdictions or risk providing a blank check for the DPRK regime to advance a weapons program,” U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said, using the acronym for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the North’s official name.
She spoke to reporters at the United Nations flanked by her counterparts from Albania, Brazil, Britain, France, Ireland, Japan and the United Arab Emirates. All but Japan are current security council members.
This is the second time in 10 days that the council has met behind closed doors to discuss North Korea’s missile launches.
Since the start of the year, North Korea has conducted two tests of what it described as a hypersonic missile, launched a pair of ballistic missiles from a train, and fired a pair of tactical guided missiles from an airport in Pyongyang.
“We will continue to speak out against the DPRK’s destabilizing actions as affronts to regional and international peace and security,” Thomas-Greenfield said. “We call on the DPRK to cease these unlawful actions and return to dialogue.”
North Korea has ignored repeated offers by the United States to restart negotiations, saying Washington must first drop its “hostile policy.”
Thomas-Greenfield also called on the U.N. Security Council Sanctions Committee on North Korea to support sanctions designations on individuals and entities contributing to Pyongyang’s illicit weapons programs, including five individuals whom the U.S. proposed to be sanctioned last week.
Diplomats said Thursday that China and Russia were holding up the designations. The committee must unanimously agree to new designations.