As N Korea tests 4th missile, UN calls for diplomatic talks for denuclearization of Korean Peninsula
The South Korean Military and Japan reported that North Korea fired two suspected short-range ballistic missiles (SRBM) on Monday from an airport in its capital city of Pyongyang. It has been reported that this is North Korea’s fourth test this month to demonstrate its expanding missile arsenal.
Japan reported that the missiles appeared to have landed in the ocean of North Korea’s east coast and it was evident that North Korea was using the frequent launches to improve its missile technology.
“The repeated launching of North Korea’s ballistic missiles is a grave problem for the international community, including Japan,” opined the Japanese Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi, noting that the tests were a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions that ban North Korea from all ballistic missile development.
Following the ballistic missile tests by North Korea, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for diplomatic talks between North Korea and all parties concerned toward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
“There haven’t been that many periods, I think, in recent time where we have seen so many launches from North Korea,” said Stephane Dujarric, Guterres’ spokesman.
“And for us, it is just another reminder of the need for North Korea and all the parties engaged to involve themselves, engage themselves in diplomatic talks so we can get what the UN would like to see, which is a very verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and, in the more immediate term, a lowering of tensions.”
Asked whether Guterres should reach out to Pyongyang, the spokesman suggested the existing mechanisms be used.
“I think there are existing mechanisms and existing lines of communications. And I think, at this point, these should be used, and the secretary-general is very supportive of those diplomatic frameworks that already exist. But they need to be used,” said Dujarric.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said on Monday that the military detected two projectiles, presumed to be short-range ballistic missiles, which were launched from North Korea’s Sunan airfield in Pyongyang.
Pyongyang’s Korean Central News Agency said last week that the country’s railway-borne missile regiment test-fired two tactical guided missiles on January 15. The country had also announced that it successfully test-launched a hypersonic missile on January 5 and a missile of the same kind on January 11.
After reporting the launch of missiles, Japan’s chief cabinet secretary Hirokazu Matsuno condemned it as a threat to peace and security. China has also urged all sides to preserve stability.
[With Inputs from IANS]
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