The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has issued a statement expressing its “grave concerns” over the lack of forewarning provided by North Korea when launching missiles, a statement shared with NK News on Friday shows.
The statement was adopted by the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) during the sitting of its ninety seventh session, which began November 21 and ended on November 25.
“The Maritime Safety Committee…received a report on numerous missile launches without any proper navigational warnings by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,” the statement reads.
The MSC also “expressed its grave concern over those operations, which pose a serious threat to maritime safety.”
The statement went on to reaffirm the relevance of the World-Wide Navigational Warning Service and protocols on navigational warnings, which North Korea has not adhered to.
It urged member states to avoid taking action that “might adversely affect shipping engaged in international trade” and to strictly comply with resolutions to avoid this taking place.
North Korea has launched, or attempted to launch, ballistic missiles on 18 separate occasions in 2016, which included 36 missiles, according to data provided by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
While many were successfully launched, multiple ballistic missiles have failed on, or shortly after launch. Some of the missiles launched have also landed in the territorial waters of Japan.
This includes one of three mid-range ballistic missiles launched from Hwangju County, North Hwanghae Province in September.
According to the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff, one of the missiles travelled 1,000 kilometers and landed in waters protected by Japan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (AIDZ).
North Korea also launched a ballistic missile a month prior in August, which according to the Japanese defence ministry, landed in its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
The IMO and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) both confirmed to NK News in August that no prior warning was issued.
ICAO subsequently announced its intention to contact North Korea regarding the lack of forewarning.
Earlier in the year aviation and maritime vessels from South Korea were required to alter routes to avoid potential dangers caused by falling debris produced by North Korea’s launch of a satellite in February.
On this occasion however North Korea did provide forewarning to ICAO and IMO so that evasion measures could be adopted.
North Korea remains prohibited from conducting ballistic missile tests or launches under UN Security Council resolutions adopted against it.
Featured Image: Headquarters of the International Maritime Organization by Bods on 2013-05-26 14:37:42