U.N. chief condemns North Korea launches ahead of Council talks

This week, North Korea has fired more than two dozen missiles and sent a barrage of artillery fire into a maritime “buffer zone”

November 05, 2022 02:27 am | Updated 02:27 am IST - United Nations, United States

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres. File.

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres. File. | Photo Credit: Reuters

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on November 4 condemned North Korea’s salvo of missile launches this week, as the Security Council prepared to discuss mounting tensions on the Korean peninsula.

Mr. Guterres “reiterates his calls on the DPRK to immediately desist from taking any further provocative action and to fully comply with its international obligations under all relevant Security Council resolutions,” his spokesman said.

The U.N. chief is “deeply concerned about the tension on the Korean peninsula and troubled by the increase in confrontational rhetoric,” added the spokesman, Stephane Dujarric.

This week, North Korea has fired more than two dozen missiles and sent a barrage of artillery fire into a maritime “buffer zone” created to reduce tensions.

One of the missiles was an intercontinental ballistic missile, a test which Seoul has deemed a failure.

South Korea scrambled stealth jets and extended military exercises with the United States in response, as fears mount that Pyongyang could be preparing for a nuclear test, which would be its seventh.

Mr. Guterres urged the North to “take immediate steps to resume talks” and asked all parties concerned to create conditions for dialogue that could lead to “the complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,” Ms. Dujarric said.

In Washington, U.S. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby slammed Pyongyang’s “provocations,” saying its moves were only “leading to just more insecurity and instability on the peninsula.”

The U.N. Security Council was set to discuss the situation later Friday at the world body’s headquarters in New York, at the request of the United States.

Diplomats said the meeting would result in a joint statement.

The Group of Seven also condemned what it called “unprecedented” missile launches, as foreign ministers met in Germany.

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