August 29, 2017 / 9:18 PM / a month ago

U.S. proposes U.N. statement condemning North Korea missile launch

Japan's U.N. Ambassador Koro Bessho speaks with representatives of the media before entering a Security Council meeting at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, U.S., August 29, 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United States has proposed that the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday agree on a statement condemning North Korea’s ballistic missile launch and imploring “all states to strictly, fully and expeditiously implement” United Nations sanctions on Pyongyang.

The draft statement, seen by Reuters, would need to be agreed by a consensus by the 15-member council, which was meeting to discuss North Korea’s firing of a missile over northern Japan earlier on Tuesday.

It would condemn North Korea “for its outrageous actions and threats against another U.N. member state, and demands that the DPRK immediately cease all such actions.”

North Korea is also known as the DPRK.

China's Ambassador to the United Nations Liu Jieyi enters a Security Council meeting at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, U.S., August 29, 2017 REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

The draft statement demands North Korea “abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner ... not conduct any further nuclear tests or any further provocation; and abandon any other existing weapons of mass destruction.”

The statement does not, however, threaten new Security Council sanctions against North Korea. Diplomats said the United States and Japan hoped the statement could be agreed upon on Tuesday.

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“The Security Council, resolute in its commitment to a denuclearised Korean Peninsula, emphasizes the vital importance of immediate, concrete actions by the DPRK to reduce tensions in the Korean Peninsula and beyond,” the draft statement reads.

The Security Council earlier this month unanimously imposed new sanctions on North Korea after it staged two long-range missile launches in July.

Diplomats say Security Council permanent veto-wielding members China and Russia typically only view a test of a long-range missile or a nuclear weapon as a trigger for further possible U.N. sanctions.

Reporting by Michelle Nichols, editing by G Crosse

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