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S. Korea Protests N. Korea’s Missile Test

Seorang anak pengungsi Afghanistan menangis setelah terperangkap di tumpukan salju di luar tendanya di Kabul.
Seorang anak pengungsi Afghanistan menangis setelah terperangkap di tumpukan salju di luar tendanya di Kabul.

South Korea has sent a letter to a United Nations sanctions committee to protest North Korea’s recent test-firing of a ballistic missile, a South Korean official said Tuesday.

The official, who asked to remain anonymous, told the VOA Korean Service the government sent the letter to the U. N. Security Council’s sanctions committee on North Korea. The letter calls for the committee to look into whether the test violated U.N. Security Council resolutions. The sanctions committee was established by U.N. Security Council Resolution 1718 in 2006 to monitor the progress of U.N. sanctions on North Korea.

The move is the latest protest from the South in response to the North’s missile launches. In March, Seoul sent a letter to the U.N. committee following Pyongyang’s test-firing of two ballistic missiles.

The official said the government will discuss a proper response to the latest launch with the international community, including the United States. The official said the launch was a clear violation of the U.N. sanctions, in reference to U.N. Security Council bans on the use of ballistic missile technology by the North. On Monday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry condemned the North Korean move, saying it is “provocative and contrary to the United Nations requirements.”

Earlier this month, the North said it had conducted a submarine-launched ballistic missile test successfully. “It was verified and confirmed that the underwater ballistic missile launch from a strategic submarine fully achieved the latest military, scientific and technical requirements,” said the North’s official media Korean Central News Agency.

The U.N. committee is scheduled to meet on May 28 and expected to report the case to the Security Council.

However, South Korean officials are cautious about the outcome of the meeting.

“It would be difficult to prejudge what steps the council might take in response to this North Korean action,” one official said.

Kim Yong-hyon, a North Korean studies professor at Dongguk University, says bringing the matter to the U.N. Security Council will have an effect of pressuring the communist country.

“The main purpose of the protest letter is to build justifications for future U.N. sanctions against the North,” Kim said.

In March, the U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution that allows the extension of the work of the panel of experts assisting the North Korea sanctions committee until April 5, 2016. The resolution calls for the panel to submit a midterm report by September 7, 2015. The panel was established by a U.N. Security Council resolution in 2009 in response to the North’s second nuclear test.

Jee Abbey Lee contributed to this report.