TOKYO — The United States has warned that another North Korean ballistic missile test will draw a response from the U.N. Security Council, diplomatic sources said Tuesday.
U.S. officials meanwhile informed the other permanent members of the Security Council — Britain, China, France and Russia — as well as Japan that Washington will not seek to censure the North for firing two short-range ballistic missiles earlier this month, the sources said.
U.S. President Donald Trump has downplayed the most recent missile test, calling it “very standard stuff” in an apparent attempt to keep alive denuclearization talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
According to the sources, U.S. officials told the other countries of the plans in a meeting in New York after the May 9 missile test from the Kusong area of North Pyongan Province in the northwestern part of North Korea. The North also launched a series of projectiles off its eastern coast on May 4.
Possible actions by the Security Council include releasing a press statement condemning the launch, or in the event of a particularly provocative weapons test, the adoption of a new resolution.
Japan, which has pushed for a more hardline approach than Washington has been taking, expressed its approval of the promise to condemn future missile tests, according to a Japanese official.
“This will serve as a warning to North Korea that its missiles won’t be condoned,” the official said.
The issue is expected to top the agenda at a summit between Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe slated to be held Monday in Tokyo.
Abe has recently expressed willingness to meet Kim “without conditions” in the hope of making progress on Pyongyang’s abduction of Japanese nationals during the 1970s and 1980s.