UN condemns North Korea missile launch as Trump vows strong response

United Nations: The UN Security Council on Monday unanimously condemned North Korea’s latest ballistic missile test as US President Donald Trump vowed to deliver a strong response to the provocation.

Backed by China, Pyongyang’s main ally, the council agreed on a US-drafted statement describing the test-firing of the missile as a “grave violation” of UN resolutions and threatening “further significant measures.”

The council met behind closed doors at the request of the United States, Japan and South Korea after Pyongyang announced it had successfully tested a new missile on Sunday, the first launch since Trump took office.

At a Washington news conference a few hours before the council meeting, Trump described North Korea as a “big, big problem” and vowed “we will deal with that very strongly.”

The latest missile was launched from the western city of Kusong and flew east for about 500 kilometers (310 miles) before falling into the Sea of Japan (East Sea), South Korea’s defense ministry said.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley called on the council to “use every available resource to make it clear to the North Korean regime -– and its enablers -– that these launches are unacceptable.

“It is time to hold North Korea accountable -– not with our words, but with our actions,” she said in a statement.

UN resolutions bar North Korea from carrying out ballistic missile launches or nuclear tests.

But it conducted two nuclear tests and numerous missile launches last year in its quest to develop a nuclear weapons system capable of hitting the US mainland.

No military solution
The Security Council has imposed six sets of sanctions since Pyongyang first tested an atomic device in 2006.

Enforcing those measures is key to changing Pyongyang’s behavior, Japan’s Ambassador Koro Bessho said, cautioning that “it takes time.”

“We need to keep on pushing. We are not looking for a military solution,” he said.

“We will have a peaceful solution and the Security Council is the body that is most suited for that,” he added.

The US Defense Department warned that the United States and its allies have the capability to shoot down any missile from North…

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