Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s New Ballistic-Missile Launch Dangerously Raising Tensions, Senior Official Warns Security Council, Urging Unity, Dialogue.
The latest launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is dangerously heightening tensions in the region, a United Nations senior official stressed as he briefed the Security Council today, urging it to show unity in bringing Pyongyang back into dialogue to end its escalating weapons programme.
Khaled Khiari, Assistant Secretary-General for Middle East, Asia and the Pacific, Departments of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and Peace Operations, noted that, according to its official news agency, on 18 February the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea launched a intercontinental ballistic missile — “Hwasong-15” — which flew a distance of 989 kilometres and to an altitude of 5,768.5 kilometres, impacting in the sea within Japan’s exclusive economic zone. As well, earlier today, it conducted what it termed a launching drill involving two tactical nuclear rockets. Pyongyang did not issue airspace or maritime safety notifications, he said, calling the unannounced launches “a serious risk to international civil aviation and maritime traffic”.