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U.N. slams North Korea’s missile launch

The Associated Press UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The Security Council on Thursday strongly condemned North Korea’s latest ballistic missile launch and demanded a halt to all missile tests, stressing again that they violate U.N. sanctions and “are significantly increasing tension in the region and beyond.”

A press statement agreed to by all 15 members expresses “utmost concern” at North Korea’s “highly destabilizing behavior and flagrant and provocative defiance of the Security Council” by conducting the latest launch less than three weeks after the previous test.

Council members said they “deplore” all North Korean ballistic missile activity, stressing that it contributes to the country’s development of nuclear weapons delivery systems and diverts resources from the needs of its people.

Tensions have escalated over North Korean moves to accelerate its weapons development. North Korea conducted two nuclear tests and 24 ballistic missile tests last year, defying six Security Council sanctions resolutions banning any testing.

The constant testing has deepened concern especially in nearby Japan and South Korea — and also in Washington over fears that Pyongyang could soon develop a nuclear-armed missile capable of reaching the U.S. mainland.

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