The UN Security Council is drafting a response to North Korea's failed missile tests and is expected to hold an emergency session shortly. Diplomats at the Council are already thought to be discussing measures after the North unsuccessfully tried to launch two intermediate-range Musudan missiles.
While the members of the 15-member UN body are widely expected to condemn Pyongyang's acts, details about specific measures are yet to emerge. "We are looking at a response," China's ambassador to the UN, Liu Jieyi, who currently holds the UNSC presidency for April, told reporters.
Washington is believed to have requested for the Security Council gathering. The US State Department earlier said it would "raise our concerns at the U.N. to ensure that international resolve remains firm in holding the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] accountable for these provocative actions".
The North fired off the Musudan missiles after a similar test in early April. The mid-range missiles have a strike range of up to 3,000km — which theoretically means they could strike the US territory of Guam. While the isolated nation is also gearing up to hold its rare party conference in the coming days, there is growing speculation that the country would also carry out its fifth nuclear test sooner.
Japan's envoy Motohide Yoshikawa said the North's recent launches are "very clear violations of Security Council resolutions". He said: "This is a threat to Japan's national security."
The Security Council is likely to come out with a strongly worded statement later in the day as the Chinese delegation is currently consulting top authorities in Beijing. Condemning the missile tests, the UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said: "These types of actions by the DPRK are extremely troubling and we would yet again encourage the DPRK to cease any further provocative actions and return to full compliance of its international obligations."