North Korea condemned for ‘provocative and destabilising’ missile launches

By Melissa Coade

February 4, 2022

Marise Payne
Foreign minister Marise Payne. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

Australia’s foreign minister has warned North Korea over its ‘continuing pattern of missile launches’, including a ballistic missile launch in late January, noting that sanctions would be enforced against the rogue state if it failed to step into line.

In a statement, Marise Payne said permanent peace in the Korean peninsula could only be achieved through dialogue, and called on North Korea to refrain from further provocations and engage in meaningful talks with the US and South Korea.

The foreign minister said the recent launch of an intermediate-range ballistic missile at the weekend, on January 30, was in contravention of multiple UN Security Council resolutions and posed a threat to regional security. 

Commentators have described the latest test as North Korea’s boldest in years, and most powerful since 2017. On Monday, North Korea confirmed it had tested a Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile projectile from a North Korean province bordering China. 

“North Korea’s pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles poses a grave threat to international peace and security and is contrary to global and regional interests in a stable, secure and rules-based Indo-Pacific,” Payne said. 

South Korean analysts have warned that the leader of the rogue state, Kim Jong-un, is likely to continue escalating missile efforts. 

South Korean president Moon Jae-in also made a call for North Korea to cool its heels and resume peace talks.

“North Korea must stop raising tensions and pressure and accept offers from South Korea and the United States to restart dialogue,” he said.

Payne added Australia would back sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council with its own, also calling on other nations to take steps to prevent North Korea from evading sanctions. 

“Australia is committed to maintaining and enforcing sanctions against North Korea until it takes clear steps to abandon its nuclear weapons, other weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs in a complete, verifiable, and irreversible manner,” Payne said.

“We will continue to work with our allies and security partners, including the US, the Republic of Korea and Japan, to uphold peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific.”


All eyes on Korean Peninsula’s intensifying arms race

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