The United States and five allies issued a united condemnation Monday of North Korea’s January 5 ballistic missile launch.
“The DPRK’s January 5th ballistic missile launch is a clear violation of multiple Security Council resolutions,” U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said, using the acronym for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the North’s official name.
Thomas-Greenfield read a joint statement to the press flanked by the ambassadors of Albania, Britain, France, Ireland and Japan. Of the six nations, only Japan is not a current U.N. Security Council member.
The council held a private meeting Monday to discuss the launch, which Pyongyang claimed last week was of a high-tech hypersonic missile.
“This launch is the latest in a series of ballistic missile launches and shows the DPRK’s determination to expand its unlawful weapons capabilities,” Thomas-Greenfield said. “These actions increase the risk of miscalculation and escalation and pose a significant threat to regional stability.”
She said North Korea is working not just to develop weapons for itself, but to increase weapons it could export to arms dealers and other international clients in violation of international sanctions.
“The DPRK makes these military investments at the expense of the well-being of the North Korean people,” the U.S. envoy said. “The people of North Korea continue to suffer under a strict authoritarian regime and through an increasingly serious humanitarian crisis.”
North Korea’s latest test comes as the country has refused to respond to U.S. appeals for talks with Pyongyang.
The country has ignored repeated offers by the U.S. to restart weapons negotiations, saying Washington must first drop its “hostile policy.”
Thomas-Greenfield urged Pyongyang to cease its destabilizing actions, give up its illegal weapons programs and engage in serious dialogue aimed at complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization.
“This is the only way for us to achieve lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula,” she said, adding that the United States is willing to engage to reach that outcome.
“It is the DPRK that now must choose dialogue and peace over its unlawful and threatening weapons program,” she added.