France’s ambassador to the UN said the United Nations Security Council is considering new sanctions against North Korea on Monday, according to a report from the Associated Press.
Francois Delattre said the UN response should be “strong” and “swift”, ahead of a closed-door meeting which will take place on Tuesday, in the wake of a North Korean ballistic missile test on May 13.
Japan, South Korea, and the U.S. requested the emergency UN session, after what the DPRK claimed was a “successful intermediate-range ballistic missile test launch” on Sunday.
UN Secretary General António Guterres issued a short release condemning Saturday’s test, though it did not differ much from previous statements in tone or language used.
“This action is in violation of Security Council resolutions and a threat to peace and security in the region,” the press statement released on Monday reads. “The Secretary-General calls on the DPRK to ensure full compliance with its international obligations and return to the path of denuclearization.”
The UN Security Council (UNSC) has typically issued new sanctions targeting the DPRK following major provocations like nuclear tests, though Washington recently called on the international organization to increase economic pressure on the North.
On April 28 at a high-level UNSC meeting, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told the UN that failure to act on the DPRK could bring “catastrophic consequences,” a possible allusion to military action.
New UN resolutions could target loopholes and enforcement problems with the current the current sanctions regime, while scope also exists for tougher unilateral measures.
“Additional UN sanctions on North Korea should include increasing implementation of existing sanctions, targeting the regime’s revenue, and sanctioning Pyongyang’s international business activities and its supporters,” Anthony Ruggiero, Senior Fellow Foundation for Defense of Democracies told NK News.
“The Trump administration should issue new U.S. sanctions against Chinese companies and banks that aid in sanctions evasion, as China will not implement robust UN sanctions that could force Pyongyang to stop its nuclear weapons and missile programs.”
Saturday’s missile test was the first following the election of South Korea’s new President, Moon Jae-in. The new South Korean leader has previously said he wants to take a less hardline approach to the DPRK than the previous administration in Seoul, saying on the campaign trail that he would travel to Pyongyang for talks and consider signing a peace treaty with the North.
Nonetheless, Seoul strongly condemned the launch on Sunday, with a government spokesperson on Monday calling the DPRK a “serious threat” to the international community.
Edited by Oliver Hotham