The U.N. Security Council on Monday condemned North Korea's most recent missile launches as violations of council resolutions, and demanded that Pyongyang comply fully with its international obligations.
The Council President for the month of July, Ugandan Ambassador Ruhakana Rugunda, read a statement from the Council condemning Saturday's launch of seven ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan. "Members of the Security Council condemned and expressed grave concern at the launches, which constitute a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions and pose a threat to regional and international security," he said.
He said Council members are appealing to all parties to refrain from action that could aggravate the security situation in the region, and he noted the Council's commitment to resolving the situation through peaceful, diplomatic and political means.
Last month, the Security Council unanimously passed a resolution tightening existing sanctions and imposing additional ones, after Pyongyang conducted an underground nuclear test. Among the new measures is one ordering U.N. member states to inspect ships suspected of transporting prohibited weapons and other materials into or out of North Korea.
Japan's U.N. envoy, Yukio Takasu, noted some success on that front, citing the imminent return to North Korea of a ship suspected of carrying banned weapons. "I think it is good that [the] DPRK [i.e., the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, or North Korea] got the message that wherever it goes -- that any port or countries in the region -- will be cooperating in compliance with resolutions. And probably that was the reason why they changed directions. It is welcome development," he said.
The ship, the Kang Nam 1, reportedly was bound for Burma, when it changed course late last month after a U.S. warship began following it. It was due back in North Korea on Monday.