A senior U.S. diplomat on Wednesday condemned North Korea’s botched launch of a military spy satellite as a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions, vowing to work with partner countries to counter such threats.
The U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Security, Gonzalo Suarez, made the remarks in an interview on board the ROKS Marado amphibious assault ship before observing the Eastern Endeavor 23 exercise in the international waters southeast of Jeju Island.
“North Korea has conducted over 60 tests last year, and I think this year, they will continue to do this,” he said. “And once again, all these are violations of U.N. Security Council resolutions.”
The U.S. condemns the latest launch and calls on all countries to join in denouncing the launch as well, he said.
“We plan on working together with our partners to combat this proliferation and activity that is damaging to secure stability around the world, especially in the region,” the official added.
He stressed that Seoul is a strong partner for the U.S. in all aspects of foreign policy, including preventing proliferation.
On the possibility of Washington’s plans to slap additional sanctions following the provocation, the official said he will not “preview any UN sanctions options.”
Suarez also said it was “a very unfortunate situation” that Russia and China have continuously not been supportive of the UN Security Council resolution.
“We should all engage, all countries, to make sure that all of us are supporting the UN Security Council resolutions,” he said.
Earlier in the day, North Korea made a botched attempt to fire what it claims to be a “space launch vehicle” southward and plans to conduct a second launch soon, according to North Korean state media.
Washington denounced the North’s launch, calling it a “brazen violation” of multiple UNSC resolutions.