SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea on Monday accused the United Nations of a “double standard” over its reaction to the North’s recent missile launches, warning it of a serious consequence.
Last week, North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea in a defiance of U.N. resolutions that ban such launches by North Korea. The U.N. Security Council subsequently adopted a resolution to renew the mandate of U.N. experts monitoring sanctions against North Korea.
Some experts say North Korea’s missile launches, the first of their kind in a year, were aimed at applying pressure on the new U.S. government of President Joe Biden.
“It constitutes a denial of sovereignty and an apparent double standard that the UNSC takes issue, on the basis of the U.N. ‘resolutions’ — direct products of the U.S. hostile policy toward (North Korea),” senior North Korean Foreign Ministry official Jo Chol Su said in a statement carried by state media.
Jo said it “doesn’t make any sense” for the U.N. council to take issue with only North Korea’s missile launches, while not doing anything on similar weapons tests by other countries. He said such a “double standard will invite more serious consequence” but didn’t elaborate.
Observers say North Korea could test-fire longer-range missiles in coming weeks.
At Friday’s meeting of the committee monitoring sanctions and North Korea, where all 15 Security Council members are represented, U.N. diplomats said a significant majority expressed concern at Pyongyang’s latest violations of council resolutions banning ballistic missile launches. They said the Security Council is likely to hold a closed discussion on the missile launches this week.
Past short-range missile launches by North Korea typically drew U.N. Security Council condemnations, but not fresh sanctions on the country. North Korea was slapped with toughened U.N. sanctions in 2016-17 following its provocative run of missile and nuclear tests aimed at acquiring the capability of launching nuclear strikes on the U.S. mainland.