UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres today condemned North Korea over its latest ballistic missile launch and called on Pyongyang to return to denuclearization.
"This action is in violation of Security Council resolutions and a threat to peace and security in the region," Guterres said in a statement issued by his spokesman.
The UN chief called on North Korea "to ensure full compliance with its international obligations and return to the path of denuclearization."
North Korea yesterday carried out its latest test of a ballistic missile, which Pyongyang said was capable of carrying a "heavy nuclear warhead."
Under UN resolutions, North Korea is barred from developing nuclear and missile technology.
The UN Security Council was weighing its response to the latest launch, with diplomats saying that the United States was pushing for a toughly-worded statement of condemnation.
A closed-door emergency Council session was set for tomorrow.
The council adopted two sanctions resolutions last year to ramp up pressure on Pyongyang and deny leader Kim Jong-Un the hard currency needed to fund his military programs.
In all, six sets of sanctions have been imposed on North Korea since it first tested an atomic device in 2006.
Six-party talks on denuclearization of the Korean peninsula have been dormant since 2009 when North Korea walked out of the process that involved China, Russia, the United States, South Korea and Japan.