US Asks for UN Security Council Meeting on North Korea

Due to an increase in coronavirus instances caused by the highly transmissible omicron strain, a United Nations nuclear treaty conference has been postponed until August of next year

The United States has issued an urgent request to the United Nations Security Council to hold an emergency meeting Thursday on North Korea’s missile testing amid growing concerns that the nuclear-armed country could soon resume long-range testing.

The request comes following North Korea’s latest missile test launch, this time an intermediate-range ballistic missile, making it the largest missile that North Korea has tested in years. On Sunday, North Korea confirmed that it fired a mid-range ballistic missile, called the Hwasong-12. It marked the seventh missile launch test that has been conducted by North Korea so far this year.

The last time North Korea fired a missile of the same size was five years ago in 2017. 

It is expected that the emergency UN Security Council session will be held behind closed doors. Russia, who took over the presidency this week of the UNSC, is yet to confirm the timing. 

The United States has been pushing for tougher sanctions to be given to North Korea due to the amount of recent missile launches. North Korea has been subjected to UN sanctions since 2006, which have been strengthened over the decades by the Security Council in order to target the funding for the nuclear and ballistic missile programs. 

A couple of weeks ago in mid-January, U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration imposed new unilateral sanctions on five North Koreans, one Russians, and a Russian firm over the missile tests.

At a UNSC meeting also in mid-January, the U.S. proposed that five of those individuals be handed a UN travel ban and have their assets frozen, but the measures were blocked by Russia and China. 

The U.S. has urged North Korea to return to nuclear talks and a diplomatic route. The talks shattered in 2019 after a summit between then-President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

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