UN Security Council to meet Tuesday on North Korea launches

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The UN Security Council will hold closed consultations on Tuesday on North Korea’s recent ballistic missile launches, diplomats said Thursday.

Britain, France and Germany called for a council meeting following the recent series of missile launches, which are a violation of UN sanctions.

The council session will take place following Saturday’s meeting of US and North Korean officials in Stockholm. It will be the first US-North Korean meeting since talks broke down in February at a second summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Vietnam.

Some council members wanted the Security Council meeting to take place Friday _ ahead of the US talks, diplomats said, speaking on condition of anonymity because discussions have been private. South African Ambassador Jerry Matjila, the current council president, and others told reporters there were scheduling issues.

In its latest test, North Korea said on Thursday that it carried out its first underwater-launched ballistic missile test in three years. The firing on Wednesday was an apparent effort to increase pressure on the United States ahead of the weekend resumption of their nuclear diplomacy.

In late August, the United Kingdom, France and Germany issued a joint statement condemning the “repeated provocative launches” of ballistic missiles by North Korea.

The Western allies said the launches violate UN Security Council resolutions banning any such activity.

They said that “international sanctions must remain in place and be fully and strictly enforced until North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs are dismantled.”

The UK, France and Germany urged North Korea “to engage in meaningful negotiations with the US,” as Trump and Kim agreed to on June 30 at their meeting in the Demilitarized Zone between the two Koreas.

North Korea responded days later, accusing the three countries of meddling in its “self-defensive measures for arms modernization.”

It said the West will make “no greater mistake” than thinking Pyongyang will give up its right to have weapons that it says are needed to ensure peace, according to a statement from Kim Son Gyong, an adviser at the Korea-Europe Association, circulated by the North’s official Korean Central News Agency.

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