UN official urges Security Council to delink political, humanitarian concerns in response to DPR Korea missile launch

Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Miroslav Jenca briefs the Security Council. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

5 July 2017 – Briefing an emergency meeting of the Security Council convened following the launch by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) of a ballistic missile of intercontinental range, a senior United Nations official reminded the Council of the importance of separating political and humanitarian concerns as it considers a response to the situation.

“Amidst the escalation of the security situation in the region, the UN and partners play a critical role in saving the lives of the most vulnerable people in the DPRK,” Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Miroslav Jenča told the Council today.

Stressing that the DPRK must stop any actions that are a violation of Security Council resolutions and allow space for the resumption of sincere dialogue, he added: “All parties must work to reopen communications channels, particularly military to military, to lower the risk of miscalculation or misunderstanding.”

In his briefing, Mr. Jenča also called on the 15-member Council to support the life-saving humanitarian work carried out by relief organizations in the country.

On the launch itself, the Assistant Secretary-General said that, according to the DPRK, the Hwasong-14 ballistic missile covered a distance of 933 kilometres during its 39-minute flight and reached an altitude of 2,802 kilometres before impacting into the sea.

“According to these parameters the missile would have a range of roughly 6,700 kilometres if launched on a more typical trajectory, making it an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), according to widely used definitions,” he said.

He also told Council members that the DPRK had not sent any pre-launch notifications to international organizations responsible for airspace and maritime safety.

Mr. Jenča also recalled Secretary-General António Guterres' strong condemnation of the launch yesterday and his message underlining the importance of unity of the international community in addressing this serious challenge.

The UN, Mr. Jenča reaffirmed, will remain in close contact with all concerned parties and remains ready to assist in any way possible.


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