The United Nations Security Council is scheduled to meet in a closed-door session Friday afternoon after North Korea conducted its longest-ever test flight of a ballistic missile earlier in the day, sending an intermediate-range weapon Japan into the northern Pacific Ocean in a launch that signals both defiance of its rivals and a big technological advance.
The Security Council’s emergency session comes just four days after it unanimously approved its toughest sanctions yet on North Korea over its nuclear tests.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres condemned the missile launch as a serious violation of Security Council resolutions coming less than two weeks after the North’s sixth nuclear test, which also violated a UN ban.
Speaking at the White House, U.S. national security adviser H.R. McMaster said the latest test “demonstrates North Korea remains one of the world’s most dangerous and urgent security problems.”
“There is a military option, it’s not what we prefer to do,” he added.
Trump will lead a U.S. delegation to the UN General Assembly on Monday and three days later will have a working lunch with the leaders of South Korea and Japan.
Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador to the UN, said “North Korea will be front and centre” next week in New York and that the U.S. will continue to “push through as many diplomatic channels as we have.”
She defended the sanctions agreed to at the UN this week on and on Aug. 6, saying they’re starting to take effect in North Korea, but that it will take more time for the country to feel the full impact of dramatic drops in exports and oil imports the sanctions targeted.
“They continue to be provocative, they continue to be reckless,” Haley said, adding later at the news conference, “how they choose to respond, this is totally in their hands.”
McMaster welcomed the fact that there was a “consensus among all key nations” about the need for a denuclearized Korean Peninsula, but said reinforcing the sanctions will be key.
Dialogue ‘impossible’ right now: South Korea PM
South Korea’s joint chiefs of staff said the latest missile travelled about 3,700 kilometres and reached a maximum height of 770 kilometres. Guam, which is the home of important U.S. military assets, is 3,400 kilometres away from North…