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UN chief condemns N. Korea moratorium-breaching missile test

Published: Updated:

UN chief Antonio Guterres condemned on Tuesday North Korea’s latest ballistic missile test, which broke a 2018 moratorium by Pyongyang.

North Korea confirmed on Monday it had fired a Hwasong-12 “ground-to-ground intermediate- and long-range ballistic missile,” state media reported, in a first test since 2017 of a weapon that powerful.

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Earlier in January, North Korea had threatened to abandon a nearly five-year-long, self-imposed moratorium on testing long-range and nuclear weapons, blaming US “hostile” policy for forcing its hand.

Guterres condemned the launch as “a clear violation of Security Council resolutions,” in a statement.

“It is of great concern that the DPRK has again disregarded any consideration for international flight or maritime safety,” he added, using the acronym for North Korea’s full name.

He urged Pyongyang “to desist from taking any further counter-productive actions” and called for a diplomatic solution.

The test on Sunday was North Korea’s seventh in January -- the most ever carried out by the country in a calendar month, raising fears Pyongyang could renew nuclear and intercontinental missile tests.

In 2017, the UN Security Council on three occasions decided unanimously to impose new heavy economic sanctions on Pyongyang for its nuclear and missile tests.

The sanctions, the Council’s latest show of unity over North Korea, target the country’s oil imports as well as its coal, iron, textile or fishing exports.

Read more: N. Korea confirms test of missile capable of striking Guam

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