top of page

Security Council to Discuss North Korea Missile Launch in Closed Consultations

By: ATN News

United Nations: In a closed consultation scheduled for today (Jan 18th), members of the Security Council will address concerns related to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Khaled Khiari, the Assistant Secretary-General for the Middle East, Asia, and the Pacific, is anticipated to provide a briefing during the session.

The meeting was initiated at the request of the United States, with support from Ecuador, France, Japan, Malta, the Republic of Korea (ROK), Slovenia, and the United Kingdom. The call for the session follows the DPRK's launch of an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) on Sunday, 14 January.

On that day, the DPRK declared the successful testing of a new solid-fuel IRBM equipped with a hypersonic warhead. Reports suggest that the missile was launched from an area north of Pyongyang, covering approximately 1,000 kilometers before landing in the Sea of Japan, marking the first ballistic missile test by the DPRK this year.

The tension on the Korean Peninsula has escalated significantly in recent months, with the Council holding an open briefing on 19 December 2023 after the DPRK launched a solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and a short-range ballistic missile. Another open briefing took place on 27 November 2023 following the DPRK's launch of a reconnaissance satellite into Earth's orbit.

During today's statements, members such as the P3 (France, the UK, and the US) and like-minded nations are expected to strongly condemn the recent missile tests, emphasizing their violation of Security Council resolutions and their destabilizing impact on the Korean Peninsula. These members may reiterate calls for the DPRK to engage in denuclearization dialogue and cease its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Some may also criticize the DPRK for allocating funds to its missile program while neglecting humanitarian needs.

Certain Council members may express criticism towards China and Russia for impeding Council action on the DPRK, asserting that this lack of response undermines the Council's credibility. Despite numerous ballistic missile tests by the DPRK since 2022, the Council has been unable to reach an agreement due to opposition from China and Russia.

China and Russia, in turn, may blame the US for escalating the situation, pointing to military exercises with the ROK and Japan. They might argue that the US has not done enough to encourage the DPRK to participate in denuclearization talks, advocating for a balanced Council resolution. China and Russia may express support for a draft resolution circulated by China in October 2021, proposing sanctions relief for the DPRK.

Concerns about growing military cooperation between the DPRK and Russia may be raised during the meeting, with accusations that the DPRK provided ballistic missiles used by Russia against Ukraine. A joint statement issued on 6 January, co-signed by the US and 49 other member states along with the High Representative of the EU, condemned the export of ballistic missiles to Russia by the DPRK. Russia denied using such missiles and accused the US of spreading misinformation.

This meeting will be the first on the DPRK for newly elected members Algeria, Guyana, the ROK, Sierra Leone, and Slovenia. The ROK and Slovenia, among the new members, joined the US in calling for this meeting. The ROK, in particular, holds a significant stake in non-proliferation and security matters on the Korean Peninsula.


bottom of page