Maritime Body Slams N.Korean Missile Launch
The International Maritime Organization on Thursday issued a statement denouncing North Korea's latest ballistic missile launch into waters off Japan.
The IMO is the UN agency responsible for regulating international shipping. The IMO's Maritime Safety Committee issued three prior statements denouncing the North's previous missile launches, but this time the warning came from the body's entire Assembly.
The IMO warned that Pyongyang failed to fulfill its obligations to give advance notice of its missile launch and urged it to stop illegal missile launches that seriously threaten the safety of international shipping.
The statement was worked out at the initiative of 15 member states including South Korea, the U.S., Japan, Australia, Germany, and the Philippines.
North Korea joined the IMO in 1986. Members have signed up to notify their neighbors in advance before launching a missile or a satellite.
"This is a clear warning from the IMO against the North that has seriously threatened the international maritime safety by firing about 20 ballistic missiles without advance notices this year," a Foreign Ministry official said.