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UN Security Council Wants Speedy New Resolution After N. Korea Missile Launch

North Koreans attend a rally to celebrate the regime's rocket launch at Kim Il Sung Square in the capital Pyongyang on Feb. 8, 2016. (Kyodo)

The UN Security Council intends to “adopt expeditiously a new Security Council resolution with such measures in response to these dangerous and serious violations” of North Korea’s missile launch this weekend, the Venezuelan chairman of the council said after “urgent consultations.”

Council President Rafael Darío Ramírez Carreño said in a statement after the UNSC meetings that “members of the Security Council underscored that this launch, as well as any other DPRK launch that uses ballistic missile technology, even if characterized as a satellite launch or space launch vehicle, contributes to the DPRK’s development of nuclear weapon delivery systems and is a serious violation of Security Council resolutions 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013) and 2094 (2013).”

“They reaffirmed that a clear threat to international peace and security continued to exist, especially in the context of the nuclear test,” he said. “The members of the Security Council restated their intent to develop significant measures in a new Security Council resolution in response to the nuclear test conducted by the DPRK on 6 January 2016, in grave violation of the DPRK’s international obligations.”

“The members of the Security Council also recalled that they have previously expressed their determination to take ‘further significant measures’ in the event of another DPRK launch.  In line with this commitment and the gravity of this most recent violation, the members of the Security Council will adopt expeditiously a new Security Council resolution with such measures in response to these dangerous and serious violations.”

US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power met with her Japanese and South Korean counterparts on Sunday, stressing in a joint press conference afterward that North Korea’s actions “are not merely ‘provocations.'”

“With each one of these actions, the DPRK moves one step closer to its declared goal of developing nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles, and we cannot and will not allow this to happen,” Power said.

“Each of these provocations, each of these illegal actions, requires a robust response. Because of the DPRK’s decisions and actions, we will ensure that the Security Council imposes serious consequences,” she added. “DPRK’s latest transgressions require our response to be even firmer.”

The State Department said Secretary of State John Kerry called his Japanese and South Korean counterparts on Sunday to stress “the importance of a united international response to North Korea’s provocations, including through a strong UN Security Council Resolution.”

“The secretary reaffirmed for both foreign ministers the U.S. ironclad commitment to the security and defense of Japan, the Republic of Korea, and our other allies,” press secretary John Kirby said.

But Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), who co-authored the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016 with Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) that is expected to come to the floor for a vote in a few days, said it’s “not enough” to just condemn North Korea yet again: “Nor is it enough to convene the UNSC for another round of hollow rhetoric, that does nothing to the Kim regime but signal a lack of international commitment to enforcing international will.”

“We have before the United States Senate meaningful steps that are available to us, a product of a bipartisan approach that speaks the only language North Korea’s regime can understand: aggressive, material consequences for aggressive, reckless provocations,” Menendez said Sunday.

China opposes the legislation as some of its companies would be caught up in the stricter sanctions dragnet.

“Yesterday’s launch and recent nuclear tests brings into focus the steps we should have been taking from the time I introduced this bill last year,” Menendez said. “The Senate should move quickly to pass the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016, the House should concur, and the president should sign into law.”

“And, if the international community is serious about meeting the threats North Korea is developing, we should see measures like this act adopted by the UN and implemented by all of its member states.  The international community should stand together with a single voice and a clear message: provocation will be met with consequences that will shake the Kim regime to its foundations.”