UN ‘concerned’ over N Korea railway-borne missile test

Members of the UN Security Council have gathered behind closed doors for an emergency meeting about North Korea’s latest ballistic missile test, which member states consider a “major threat,” according to France’s ambassador to the UN, Nicolas de Riviere.

Riviere said there was consensus among the group to condemn the test, which North Korea said was launched using a “railway-borne missile system”.

“Everyone is very concerned about this situation,” de Riviere told several journalists after the 45-minute meeting.

“This is a major threat to peace and security, it’s a clear violation of the Council’s resolutions,” he added, saying that the missiles had fallen “within Japan’s exclusive economic zone.”

Pyongyang earlier confirmed that it launched the test on the same day Seoul became the first non-nuclear country to test a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM).

The missiles fired by North Korea were a test of a new “railway-borne missile system” designed as a potential counterstrike to any forces that threaten the country, the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Thursday.

The missiles flew 800km (497 miles) before striking a target in the sea off North Korea’s east coast on Wednesday, KCNA said.

On Wednesday, South Korean and Japanese authorities said they had detected the launch of two ballistic missiles from North Korea, just days after it tested a long-range cruise missile that analysts said could have nuclear capabilities.

The two Koreas have been in an increasingly heated arms race, with both sides unveiling more capable missiles and other weapons.

In a statement from London, the British Foreign Office condemned the test as a “clear violation” of Security Council resolutions and a “threat to regional peace and security,” as the United States has also done.

“We urge North Korea to refrain from further provocations, and to return to dialogue with the US,” the British statement said.