North Korea missile launches 'extremely concerning': France

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 06, 2016 12:48 PM

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Ballistic missile tests carried out by North Korea on Monday are "extremely concerning" and France favors a quick and firm reaction by the U.N. Security Council, France's U.N. ambassador said on Tuesday.

North Korea fired three ballistic missiles into the sea off its east coast on Monday, the South Korean and U.S. militaries said, as the leaders of the Group of 20 major economies held a summit in China, the North's main diplomatic ally.

Speaking ahead of a Security Council meeting to discuss North Korea, Ambassador Francois Delattre said the launches were "a clear and unacceptable new violation of the Security Council resolutions" and a threat to regional and international peace and security.

"We very much favor a quick and firm reaction by the Security Council to this new provocation," he said.

Koro Bessho, Japan's U.N. ambassador, added: "We want to have a united and clear message," without elaborating.

Monday's missile launches were the latest in a series by North Korea this year in violation of Security Council resolutions that were supported by China and that ban all ballistic missile-related activities by Pyongyang.

North Korea rejects the ban as infringing its sovereign right to pursue a space program and self defense.

North Korea has been under U.N. sanctions since 2006. The 15-member Security Council toughened the sanctions in March in response to North Korea's fourth nuclear test in January and the launch of a long-range rocket in February.

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Yara Bayoumy and Frances Kerry)