US, Japan request UN emergency meeting on North Korea missile launches

The meeting is likely to be scheduled on Wednesday when ambassadors return from a visit to the Lake Chad region, said diplomats.

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North Korea on Monday launched four missiles, with three landing close to Japan — the latest in a series of test-firings that are in violation of UN resolutions barring Pyongyang from developing missile technology.

The missiles travelled around 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) and reached an altitude of 260 kilometers, said a spokesman for South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, adding they were unlikely to be ICBMs.

“We deplore the continued violation of Security Council resolutions by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), including the most recent launches of ballistic missiles,” said UN spokesman Farhan Haq.

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“The DPRK leadership should refrain from further provocations and return to full compliance with its international obligations,” he added.

The council has imposed six sets of sanctions on North Korea — two of which were adopted last year to significantly ramp up measures and deny Kim Jong-Un’s regime hard currency revenue.

A recent report by a UN panel of experts said North Korea was resorting to ingenious ways to circumvent sanctions, by setting up front companies, notably in China and Malaysia.

China, Pyongyang’s ally and main trading partner, negotiated the provisions of the two most recent sanctions resolution directly with the United States.

US President Donald Trump this month described North Korea as a “big, big problem” and vowed to deal with it “very strongly.”

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