The UN Security Council Monday strongly condemned last week’s North Korean missile launch and agreed to update the scope of its sanctions against Pyongyang in the next 15 days.
The 15-nation security body said last Friday’s launch was a violation of resolutions 1718 and 1874 imposed against North Korea and reiterated demands the country suspend all activities related to its ballistic missile program and reestablish its commitments to a moratorium on missile launches.
The statement also directs the Security Council’s sanctions committee on North Korea to identify and extend sanctions on additional materials and companies related to ballistic missiles and proliferation technology.
U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said the statement was stronger and more explicit than the one agreed to after North Korea’s last launch in 2009 and a clear message to authorities in Pyongyang there would be consequences to any further launch or nuclear test.
“If North Korea choses again to defy the international community, then the Council has expressed its determination to take action accordingly.” Rice told reporters outside the Security Council. “In 2006 a launch was followed by a nuclear test, the same was true in 2009, and so clearly the potential for that pattern to persist is one that all members of the international community are mindful of and think would be a disastrous course for the North to pursue.”
Rice also said the United States would soon submit its own list of technical items and names of companies responsible for North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs to the Security Council sanctions committee.
Rice said it wasn’t clear yet if other Security Council members would support U.S. recommendations to sanctions committee.
“This is a process that is a complicated one in the committee. The committee needs to operate by consensus. It is also a process of negotiation, as in 2009 it was which yielded a very credible outcome and we expect the same this time.” Rice said.