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US eyes additional UN action on N. Korea after missile tests

March 29, 2021 GMT
People watch a TV showing an image of North Korea's new guided missile during a news program at the Suseo Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Friday. March 26, 2021. In resuming its ballistic testing activity after a yearlong pause, North Korea has demonstrated a potentially nuclear-capable weapon that shows how it continues to expand its military capabilities amid a stalemate in diplomacy with the United States. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
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People watch a TV showing an image of North Korea's new guided missile during a news program at the Suseo Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Friday. March 26, 2021. In resuming its ballistic testing activity after a yearlong pause, North Korea has demonstrated a potentially nuclear-capable weapon that shows how it continues to expand its military capabilities amid a stalemate in diplomacy with the United States. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
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People watch a TV showing an image of North Korea's new guided missile during a news program at the Suseo Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Friday. March 26, 2021. In resuming its ballistic testing activity after a yearlong pause, North Korea has demonstrated a potentially nuclear-capable weapon that shows how it continues to expand its military capabilities amid a stalemate in diplomacy with the United States. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration said Monday it’s looking at “additional actions” that the United Nations might take to respond to North Korea’s recent missile tests.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield wasn’t specific about what those actions might entail, but noted that the UN Security Council had met last week and renewed the mandate of experts who monitor sanctions against the North. The council is also expected to hold closed-door discussions on North Korea on Tuesday.

“We’re looking at additional actions that we might take,” Thomas-Greenfield said of the U.S. and others Security Council members.

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan will be meeting in Washington soon with his counterparts from Japan and South Korea to discuss North Korea strategy as the administration finalizes a review of how to approach the country. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who recently returned from Tokyo and Seoul, said the three countries are united in dealing with the challenges posed by Pyongyang.

“What we’re seeing from Pyongyang in terms of these provocations does nothing to shake the resolve of our three countries along with allies and partners around the world to approach North Korea from a position of strength in order to diminish the threat that it poses to the region and beyond,” Blinken said.

On Monday, North Korea accused the UN of a “double standard” over its reaction to the launches, which violate UN sanctions, warning of serious consequences.

Last week, North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea in a defiance of U.N. resolutions that ban such launches by North Korea. Some experts say North Korea’s missile launches, the first of their kind in a year, were aimed at applying pressure on the Biden administration.

Past short-range missile launches by North Korea have typically drawn U.N. Security Council condemnations, but not fresh sanctions. North Korea was slapped with toughened U.N. sanctions in 2016-17 following its provocative run of missile and nuclear tests aimed at acquiring the capability of launching nuclear strikes on the U.S. mainland.

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