The UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting Wednesday on DPRK's latest missile launches, US officials said on Monday.
The meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. New York time (1500 GMT) and was requested by the United States and Japan after Pyongyang launched four ballistic missiles, three of which landed in Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
The DPRK fired four ballistic missiles into the sea off its east coast on Monday, days after it promised retaliation over US-ROK military drills.
Pyongyang’s recent provocative moves have stirred up a wave of condemnation from the international community.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the latest missile tests and urged Pyongyang to “refrain from further provocations”, the Secretary-General's Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq said in a statement.
"The Secretary-General condemns the reported firing of ballistic missiles by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea," the release stated on Monday. "Such actions violate Security Council resolutions and seriously undermine regional peace and stability."
US President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held phone talks over the launches, and Trump told Abe that the US is with Japan “100 percent".
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attends the upper house parliamentary session after reports on DPRK's missile launches, in Tokyo, on March 6, 2017. /Reuters Photo
The two leaders reaffirmed their alliance and agreed that the DPRK’s latest actions violated the United Nations Security Council resolutions and pose a challenge to regional and international security.
They also agreed that “the threat has entered a new stage,” Abe said.
Trump also held phone talks with ROK’s acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn, discussing plans to respond to DPRK's recent missile launches, Reuters reported, citing an official at Hwang's office as saying.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry also expressed opposition to Pyongyang’s missile launches, saying the moves violated the UN Security Council resolutions. However, the ministry spokesman also criticized the US and the ROK for their recent military measures against the DPRK, which could have triggered retaliation.
“The Chinese side has also noted the ongoing military drills between the US and the ROK targeting the DPRK,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang.
“Under the current circumstances, all relevant parties should exercise restraint and refrain from any action that may provoke each other and heighten tensions in the region,” he added.