China joins UN in condemning North Korea missile tests

Officials say the latest missile travelled about 500km

China has joined the 14 other members of the United Nation Security Council in strongly condemning North Korea for test-firing ballistic missiles.

The Security Council issued a unanimous statement, agreeing to take ‘significant measures’ in response to the latest series of launches.

North Korea has test-fired several ballistic missiles in July and August, including one from a submarine towards Japan on Wednesday.

China is Pyongyang’s main ally.

“The submarine-launched missile test is the greatest success, putting the US mainland and the Pacific within the striking range,” the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said. But the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the missile breached his country’s Air Defence Identification Zone.

Abe condemned what he called an ‘unforgivable, reckless act’ and a grave threat to Japan’s security.

Call for sanctions
The UN urged member states to redouble efforts to implement sanctions against Pyongyang, including the latest and toughest measures imposed by the council in March.

North Korea has been hit by five sets of UN sanctions since it first tested a nuclear device in 2006.

BBC/Mercy Chukwudiebere