(3rd LD) S. Korea, U.S., Japan call for emergency UNSC meeting on Pyongyang's missile test
(ATTN: ADDS China's response in 6th para)
SEOUL, Feb. 13 (Yonhap) -- South Korea, the United States and Japan have asked the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to convene an emergency meeting to discuss countermeasures against North Korea's latest missile provocation, a report said Monday.
Citing a spokesperson of the U.S. mission to the world body, AFP said that the three countries requested an "urgent" meeting to have consultations after the North conducted a ballistic missile test Sunday. The meeting is expected to be held Monday afternoon (local time), it added.
A diplomatic source here said that South Korea is seeking a "response" through the UNSC, apparently referring to the ongoing efforts to induce an action from the Security Council aimed at punishing the North for its latest missile test.
The North test-fired a new intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) from Banghyon air base in the western province of North Pyongan early on Sunday. The South Korean military said the missile reached a height of 550 kilometers and flew about 500 km before splashing into the East Sea.
Early on Monday, the North claimed that it "successfully" test-fired a surface-to-surface medium-long-range ballistic missile named Pukguksong-2.
The North's latest provocation drew strong condemnation from neighbors and the international community.
China, the North's closest ally, also joined the criticism on Monday by saying that it is "clearly" opposed to the ballistic missile test, while vowing to work together with other countries including the U.S. to resolve the issue in a "peaceful" and "stable" fashion.
Pyongyang is banned from conducting any missile tests using ballistic technology under UNSC resolutions.
This marked the first missile test by the North since U.S. President Donald Trump took office on Jan. 20. It is seen as an effort to draw attention from the new administration and test its response.
South Korea's foreign ministry issued a statement calling North's missile test as an "explicit" violation of UNSC resolutions and a grave threat to peace and stability of the region and the world.
Top nuclear envoys of South Korea, the U.S. and Japan also held talks via phone soon after the launch, strongly denouncing the provocation and vowing to work together closely to draw up countermeasures.
Attending a parliamentary committee meeting Monday, Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se said that the North's recent missile test is seen as a signal for more provocations down the road, adding the government is currently keeping a close eye on developments unfolding on and around the peninsula.