UN Ambassador Calls for Sanctions on North Korea After Missile Tests

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (UN), has called for additional sanctions against North Korea after the country's most recent missile test, conducted early Tuesday morning.

Following the launch, the UN Security Council announced that it would hold an emergency meeting to discuss possible sanctions against North Korea for flouting the international body's pre-existing sanctions forbidding it from developing weapons.

"Each new advancement of the DPRK's (Democratic People's Republic of Korea's) weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs destabilizes the region and threatens international peace and security," Thomas-Greenfield said in a statement issued Wednesday.

"We ... call on all member states to fulfill their sanctions obligations under existing Security Council resolutions, so that we can prevent the DPRK from accessing the funds, the technology, the know-how it needs to further develop its weapons [programs]," her statement continued.

United Nations sanctions North Korea missile launch
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, has called for sanctions against North Korea after the country's most recent missile test, conducted earlier this week. In this photo, Thomas-Greenfield speaks to the media at a socially distanced briefing on March 1, 2021, in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty

The U.S. ambassador said North Korea must abide by the U.N. Security Council's current resolutions banning continued weapons testing in the East Asian country.

She also said that the U.S. remains prepared to engage in "serious and sustained diplomacy" as well as "sustained and substantive dialogue towards the goal of complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."

Lastly, she mentioned that the U.S. had offered to meet with the country's officials "without any preconditions," having made it clear that the U.S. has "no hostile intent" toward the country.

In the early hours of Tuesday morning, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said North Korea fired off two ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan. North Korea has conducted six missile tests since January.

U.S. President Joe Biden has warned of "responses" if North Korea continues to escalate tensions in the region. However, the Biden administration hasn't publicly issued any concrete policy responses to the country's continued missile launches.

North Korea has said that it is developing its weapons defense program in order to deal with a possible U.S. military threat. North Korean leaders have called the development of nuclear arms "critical to regime survival," a recent report from the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) said.

The DIA has warned that North Korea wants to launch a long-range missile in the coming year. Such a launch would represent a major security risk to South Korea, Japan and other U.S. allies in eastern Asia.

In her statement, Thomas-Greenfield reasserted America's commitment to the defense of the Republic of Korea and Japan, calling it "ironclad."

Newsweek contacted the U.S. Mission to the U.N. for comment.