US calls for UN Security Council meeting on North Korea | New Weapons

The meeting, which diplomats say will take place on Wednesday, comes after Pyongyang conducted the 15th missile test this year.

The United States has called for a meeting of the UN Security Council (UNSC) later this week to discuss North Korea, diplomats have said, as Washington pushes the 15-member body to tighten sanctions against Pyongyang.

Washington holds the UNSC presidency for the month of May and has been planning to convene a meeting since late last week, diplomats said Monday.

The public meeting is scheduled for Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. local time in New York (19:00 GMT).

North Korea has stepped up missile launches in recent months, staging 15 weapons tests so far this year in a show of force that has raised concerns among the country’s neighbors and US President Joe Biden’s administration. .

The latest test came on Saturday, when Pyongyang fired a ballistic missile from a submarine.

The launch came just days before South Korean President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol, who has vowed to take a hard line against North Korea, is to be sworn in on Tuesday.

US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said the country wants the Security Council to vote in May to further sanction North Korea. But China and Russia, which both hold veto power on the council, have signaled they oppose any further action.

“This is a challenge, this is a threat to international peace and security that the UN Security Council and its members have recognized in the past,” the US State Department spokesman said. Ned Price to reporters last week about North Korea’s test launches.

“So we’re not going to preempt what the UN might do or what the UN Security Council might do, but we think accountability is important,” Price said.

“We believe it is vital that the international community, our allies as well as our partners around the world, send a very clear signal to [Pyongyang] that these types of provocations will not be tolerated, that they will not improve its strategic positioning and that the world will react accordingly.

Another State Department official also said on May 6 that the United States believes North Korea is “preparing its Punggye-ri test site and may be ready to test there as soon as this month.” .

North Korea has been under UN sanctions since 2006, which the UNSC has intensified over the years in an effort to cut off funding for Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.

The Biden administration has pushed the United Nations to take a tougher stance against North Korea following its recent missile launches, including its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test since 2017, conducted in March.

Washington has also urged North Korea to resume denuclearization talks, which have stalled since a 2019 summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and then-US President Donald Trump s collapsed over demands for sanctions relief from Pyongyang.

But North Korea has so far rebuffed U.S. overtures, accusing Washington of maintaining hostile policies such as sanctions and military drills. Last month, Kim promised to accelerate the development of banned nuclear weapons.

“We will continue to take steps to strengthen and develop our country’s nuclear capabilities at the fastest pace,” Kim said, according to a transcript released by Korea’s official Central News Agency.

The North’s nuclear weapons are “a symbol of national power” and must be diversified, he added.

Meanwhile, Biden is due to visit South Korea and Japan from May 20-24 – a visit that is expected to coincide with the official launch of a new US economic plan in the region, known as the Indo-Economic Framework. Pacific (IPEF), Tokyo’s ambassador to the United States said Monday.

Koji Tomita said at a virtual event hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington that Japan and the United States had been working on the details of the plan, which he said was to come up with a balance between inclusiveness and high standards.

Asian countries want to strengthen ties with the United States, but have been frustrated by its delay in detailing plans for economic engagement with the region since Trump quit a regional trade pact in 2017.

A South Korean government official said on Monday the country was “positively considering” joining IPEF.

“It is listed in 110 national tasks that the new government views positively,” a finance ministry official said, speaking on condition of anonymity in accordance with government practice.

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