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UN Security Council 'strongly' condemns North Korea missile launch

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The United Nations Security Council on Sunday blasted North Korea for firing what the hermit state claimed was a successful submarine-launched ballistic missile.

[WASHINGTON] The United Nations Security Council on Sunday blasted North Korea for firing what the hermit state claimed was a successful submarine-launched ballistic missile.

"The members of the Security Council strongly condemned the firing of a submarine-launched ballistic missile by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea on April 23," a UN statement read, calling it "yet another serious violation by the DPRK of United Nations Security Council resolutions."

"The members of the Security Council reiterated their serious concern... that such ballistic missile activities contribute to the DPRK's development of nuclear weapons delivery systems and increase tension in the region and beyond," the statement added.

The Council urged Pyongyang to "refrain from further actions in violation of the relevant Security Council resolutions and comply fully with its obligations under these resolutions, including to suspend all activities related to its ballistic missile program and in this context reestablish its previous commitments to a moratorium on missile launches."

The North's state-run KCNA news agency said Saturday's test, personally monitored by North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, confirmed the reliability of the country's underwater launching system.

Mr Kim hailed the test as an "eye-opening success," state media said, and crowed that Pyongyang has the ability to strike Seoul and the United States at will.

The launch came amid growing concern that Pyongyang is preparing a fifth nuclear test, but was followed hours later by a North Korean offer to impose a unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing if the United States suspends annual military drills with South Korea.

AFP