External Affairs

North Korea Nuclear Test: UN Security Council to Meet on Monday to Discuss Futher Action

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspects a long and medium-range ballistic rocket launch drill in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang on August 30, 2017. Credit:Reuters

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspects a long and medium-range ballistic rocket launch drill in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang on August 30, 2017. Credit: Reuters

UN: The UN Security Council will meet on Monday on North Korea’s nuclear test at the request of the United States, Japan, Britain, France and South Korea, the US mission to the United Nations said in a statement on Sunday.

North Korea conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on Sunday – in violation of UN resolutions – which it said was an advanced hydrogen bomb for a long-range missile.

The 15-member Security Council will meet at 10 am (1400 GMT) on Monday, the US mission said.

North Korea has been under UN sanctions since 2006 over its ballistic missile and nuclear programs. Typically, China and Russia only view a test of a long-range missile or a nuclear weapon as a trigger for further possible UN sanctions.

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Sunday that the members of the Security Council “remain unanimous in their commitment to denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.” He said any threat to US, its territories, or allies would be met “with a massive military response.”

The council last month unanimously imposed new sanctions on North Korea over its two long-range missile launches in July. The resolution aimed to slash by a third the Asian state’s $3 billion annual export revenue by banning exports of coal, iron, lead and seafood.

Diplomats have said the council could now consider banning Pyongyang’s textile exports and the country’s national airline, stop supplies of oil to the government and military, prevent North Koreans from working abroad and add top officials to a blacklist to subject them to an asset freeze and travel ban.

Japan urged Washington last week to propose new sanctions after Pyongyang fired a medium-range missile over North Japan on Tuesday. The US traditionally drafts resolutions to impose sanctions on North Korea, first negotiating with China before formally involving the remaining 13 council members.

Following the nuclear test on Sunday, Britain, Japan and South Korea pushed for new UN sanctions, while China and Russia said they would “appropriately deal” with North Korea.

Daniel Russel, until April the US assistant secretary of state for East Asia and now a senior fellow at the Asia Society Policy Institute, told Reuters: “We should expect an uptick in Chinese and Russian pressure on both North Korea and on the US.”

“We should also expect ‘more of the same’ from China (and Russia) in claiming that the US is also to blame and calling on Washington to appease Pyongyang with front-loaded concessions and placate it with dialogue, despite the fact that North Korea is clearly only interested in dictating terms, not in negotiating,” he said.

Any new sanctions would build on eight resolutions ratcheting up action against Pyongyang over five nuclear tests, four long-range ballistic missile tests and dozens of medium-range rocket launches. The past three substantial resolutions have taken between one and three months to negotiate.

A resolution needs nine votes in favor and no vetoes by the United States, Britain, France, Russia or China to pass.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned North Korea’s nuclear test on Sunday as “profoundly destabilizing for regional security” and called on the country’s leadership to cease such acts.

(Reuters)