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UN Security Council condemns North Korean missile launch

UNITED NATIONS — The UN Security Council on Tuesday strongly condemned North Korea’s latest ballistic missile launches and threatened ‘‘further significant measures’’ if it refuses to stop its nuclear and missile tests.

The UN’s most powerful body agreed to the tough statement hours after a closed-door emergency meeting Tuesday to discuss the launches of three missiles, which landed near Japan.

The council expressed serious concern that North Korea carried out the launches ‘‘in flagrant disregard’’ of its demands.

The United States, Japan, and South Korea stood united Tuesday in demanding a response from the council.

The missiles traveled about 620 miles Monday and landed near Japan.

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US Ambassador Samantha Power said ‘‘the Security Council must remain unequivocal and united in condemnation of these tests and we must take action to enforce the words we put on paper — to enforce our resolutions.’’

North Korea launched the missiles while China was hosting the Group of 20 economic summit, she said, once again showing the North’s ‘‘blatant disregard’’ for UN sanctions and its international obligations ‘‘and its willingness to provoke and to threaten the international community with impunity.’’

Power said North Korea has carried out 22 missile launches so far this year With each test, she said, North Korea demonstrates further advancement of its ballistic missile program whose aim according to the country’s leader Kim Jong Un is ‘‘to arm the systems with nuclear weapons.’’

Japan’s UN ambassador, Koro Bessho, said he was encouraged that in the council meeting ‘‘there was much stronger show of unity’’ and all members ‘‘condemned the launches in very strong terms.’’

Associated Press