UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Germany, France and Britain on Wednesday strongly condemned the dozen sets of ballistic missile launches by North Korea since May and urged Pyongyang to engage in “meaningful negotiations” with the United States on its nuclear and missile programs.
The three European countries said the tests, “including what appears to be a medium-range missile launched from underwater,” undermine regional security and violate unanimously adopted Security Council resolutions.
They issued a joint statement after Germany’s U.N. ambassador, Christoph Heusgen, briefed the council behind closed doors on implementation of sanctions against North Korea.
The three countries urged North Korea to take “concrete steps” in new talks with the U.S. “with a view to abandoning all weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner.”
North Korea has ramped up its missile tests in recent months, and experts say the launches are likely to continue as a way to pressure Washington into meeting Pyongyang’s demand for new proposals to revive nuclear diplomacy by the end of December. Diplomatic efforts have largely remained deadlocked since a second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un failed last February.
This week, North Korea protested planned U.S.-South Korean military drills, which Pyongyang calls rehearsals for an invasion.