N Korea accuses UN of double standard over missile firings

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA (AP) — North Korea yesterday accused the United Nations (UN) 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 UN resolutions that ban such launches by North Korea. The UN Security Council (UNSC) subsequently adopted a resolution to renew the mandate of UN experts monitoring sanctions against North Korea.

Some experts said North Korea’s missile launches, the first of their kind in a year, were aimed at applying pressure on the new United States (US) government President Joe Biden.

“It constitutes a denial of sovereignty and an apparent double standard that the UNSC takes issue, on the basis of the UN ‘resolutions’ — direct products of the US 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 UN 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 said 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, UN 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 UN Security Council condemnations, but not fresh sanctions on the country.