The UK has called for a closed meeting at the UN over a ballistic missile launched from North Korea.
Several states have been asked to attend the conference, including the US, Ecuador, France, Japan, Malta and South Korea.
North Korea’s missile launch was the first time a solid-fuel ‘hypersonic’ missile had been tested, marking a significant escalation in tensions between the hermit state and the West.
The launch also signifies an improvement in Pyongyang’s missile capabilities as Kim Jong-Un seeks to deepen ties with the Kremlin.
UK calls for major UN meeting following ballistic missile launch from North Korea
Launched on Sunday afternoon from a site near Pyongyang, the missile flew east for around 12 minutes before splashing down in the ocean between North Korea and Japan, South Korean authorities confirmed.
According to Rishi Sunak’s Government, the launch of the hypersonic missile is a violation of multiple Security Council resolutions.
The UK has also called for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to “abandon its illegal weapons programmes”.
Hypersonic missiles are particularly dangerous owing to their ability to change direction in mid-air, allowing them to strike more accurately while becoming harder for defence systems to intercept.
Loading the missiles with solid fuel is also a cause for alarm as they can be filled up in secret and gives less time for adversaries to conduct a pre-emptive strike.
Experts suggest North Korea’s missiles have an intermediate range and could be capable of striking US assets in Asia and the western Pacific such as Guam.
The latest meeting comes after the UK signed an accord with South Korea to enforce sanctions against Kim Jong-Un.
Both nations agreed to enforce joint sea patrols as the DPRK relies on smugglers to bypass international sanctions.
Hwasong-18 intercontinental ballistic missile launched from an undisclosed location in North Korea
KCNA via Reuters
“The UK is leading the way in supporting our Korean friends in countering North Korea’s aggressive posturing and ensuring the safety and security of the Indo-Pacific,” Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said.
“Deepening the ties between the Royal Navy and Republic of Korea Navy, our bilateral defence relationship has never been stronger.”
Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron added: “The UK and the Republic of Korea have built a strong relationship of trust and respect over many years – this year we celebrate the 140th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our two countries.
“And Britain has a long history of standing with the ROK in its commitment to democracy in the region.
“This agreement – signed 70 years after the Korean War Armistice – is a truly unique step in the strengthening of our work to secure the security of the Korean Peninsula and the region.
“We are proud, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, to be at the forefront of international sanctions enforcement activity.
“This includes upholding international commitments to curtail North Korea’s illegal weapons programmes.”
GB News has approached the UN for comment