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UN Security Council to meet over North Korea missile launches: reports

The United Nations Security Council will meet behind closed doors this week to discuss North Korea's latest missile launches, according to news reports Wednesday.

The meeting will be held Thursday at the request of Britain, Germany and France following the North's launches of two short-range ballistic missiles early Wednesday, Reuters quoted diplomats as saying.

Citing a source in the council, Russia's TASS news agency said the meeting will be held before noon.

U.N. Security Council resolutions ban North Korea from conducting ballistic missile launches of any kind.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said Wednesday's missiles are estimated to have flown about 250 kilometers at an approximate altitude of 30 km.

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The North launched similar missiles last Thursday, saying they sent a "solemn" warning to South Korea over its planned military exercises with the United States next month.

Those missiles were identified as KN-23, or the North's version of Russia's Iskander ballistic missile.

The council will be meeting to discuss North Korean missile launches for the first time since diplomatic efforts to denuclearize the regime began in the spring of 2018.

The last UNSC resolution in response to North Korean weapons tests was adopted unanimously in December 2017 after the launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile the previous month.

The U.S.-drafted text contained toughened sanctions on the regime, including a tighter restriction on its import of refined petroleum products and a requirement for all U.N. member states to expel North Korean workers within 24 months.

Britain and France are permanent, veto-wielding council members, along with the U.S., China and Russia. Germany is currently a non-permanent member.

Germany also serves as chair of the U.N. panel monitoring implementation of sanctions on North Korea. In the wake of last week's missile tests, Berlin reportedly condemned all ballistic missile launches by the regime as a serious violation of UNSC resolutions and urged Pyongyang to refrain from provocations and fully abide by the resolutions. (Yonhap)



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