UN “strongly condemns” North Korean shooting “highly provocative”

Ⓒ AFP – JUNG Yeon-Je – | A South Korean woman watches a North Korean missile on a television screen at a train station in Seoul on September 15, 2017

The UN Security Council “firmly condemned” last Friday the last North Korean missile strike over Japan judged “highly provocative”, Russia and France calling for “direct negotiations” with Pyongyang to bring down voltage.

It is a “scandalous act”, according to the Council, which calls on North Korea “to stop them immediately,” in a statement issued after an emergency meeting in camera. “These actions are not only a threat to the region but also to all member states of the UN”.

The North Korean shootings “like its other recent actions and public statements deliberately undermine regional peace and stability,” said the text – which does not mention new sanctions – and which was approved by the 15 members of the Security Council, including Japan, a non-permanent member.

Ⓒ AFP – Laurence CHU – | New North Korean missile launch

The North Korean ballistic missile that flew over Friday was able to reach the US island of Guam in the Pacific, according to experts. It traveled an unprecedented distance after being pulled from a site near Pyongyang four days after the adoption by the UN of an eighth round of sanctions to try to push the reclusive country to negotiate its prohibited ballistic and nuclear programs .

The new resolution sanctioned a sixth North Korean nuclear test, by far the most powerful, and which according to Pyongyang concerned a bomb H small enough to equip a missile.

– ‘Complicated situation’ –

Since the beginning of the summer, the tension between the international community and North Korea has experienced multiple peaks. On Friday, the Russian presidents Vladimir Putin and French Emmanuel Macron called for “direct negotiations” with Pyongyang to finish the upbraid.

Ⓒ AFP – JUNG Yeon-Je – | South Koreans watch on a television screen the trajectory of a new North Korean missile launch over Japan on September 15, 2017 at a train station in Seoul

According to the Kremlin, the two leaders agreed in a telephone conversation on “the need to solve this extremely complicated situation exclusively by political and diplomatic means, by the resumption of direct negotiations.”

The talks between Pyongyang and five major powers – the United States, China, Japan, Russia and South Korea – started in 2003, have been frozen since 2008.

At the UN General Assembly next week in New York, US President Donald Trump has scheduled talks on Thursday with North Korean and Korean allies. The White House, for whom a “military option” is not ruled out, said on Friday that “time was short”.

For David Wright, a physicist with the Union of Concerned Scientists, “North Korea has demonstrated that it can reach Guam with one of its missiles even if its charge is not known” or its precision.

After the Northern shootings in July of two intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), which seemed to put within its reach a good part of the American continent, Donald Trump had threatened him with “fire and anger”. To which Pyongyang had replied by promising to fire four missiles near Guam, where Washington has strategic military installations.

Ⓒ AFP – Laurence CHU – | A North Korean missile over Japan

On 29 August, the north had already fired a Hwasong-12, an intermediate-range missile, over the Japanese archipelago.

“The North is sending the following message:” We are not afraid of any punishment and our threats are not in vain, “Yang Moo-Jin of the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul told AFP.

– Missile warning –

Millions of Japanese have been brutally awakened by sirens and alert text messages.

“Missile Launching Missile Launch A missile seems to have been fired from North Korea, get shelter in a building or basement,” invited the loudspeakers to Cape Erimo in the south of Hokkaido.

“If North Korea continues on this path, its future will not be radiant,” reacted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, condemning North Korea as the European Union.

US diplomat Rex Tillerson urged China and Russia, the main economic supporters of Pyongyang, to pressure “on their own” Pyongyang.

Ⓒ AFP – Toru YAMANAKA – | A giant screen broadcasts a report on the North Korean missile launch on a street in Tokyo on September 15, 2017

Beijing, who condemned the shooting and called for restraint, returned Pyongyang and Washington back to back, deeming “irresponsible” US critics. “The heart of the problem is the opposition between North Korea and the United States (…) China is not at the root of the escalation of tensions, spokesman for Chinese diplomacy, Hua Chunying.

The latest UN sanctions, decided on Monday, are the most restrictive to date, with a limitation of exports of oil and refined products to Pyongyang or the ban on North Korean textile purchases.

South Korea reacted with Hyunmu missile firing exercises. A craft traveled 250 km, a sufficient distance to reach theoretically the North Korean launch site of Sunan, near the Pyongyang airport. But another shot failed shortly after the launch.

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