A South Korean representative will attend a UN Security Council session set to convene this week following a US request to discuss North Korea's recent missile launches and a possible escalatory provocation, an official at Seoul's foreign ministry said Tuesday.
The meeting will be held on Wednesday, according to Reuters, just days after the North said it conducted a "very important test" at its Dongchang-ri satellite launch site. The test is presumed to have been a rocket engine experiment.
The US call for the meeting is seen as a signal that it will not condone Pyongyang's unwarranted escalation of tensions through military provocations that could jeopardize ongoing diplomacy to denuclearize the regime.
"South Korea has been closely communicating with the council's president, the US and its other member states," the official said on condition of anonymity.
The North has recently been ratcheting up tensions apparently to pressure the United States to meet its year-end deadline to come up with an acceptable proposal to move forward the nuclear negotiations. It has conducted military drills, fired off short-range projectiles and hardened its rhetoric against Seoul and Washington, which led to a sharpening of Washington's rhetoric.
US President Donald Trump warned Sunday that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un could lose "everything" if he engages in hostile acts.
On Monday, North Korean officials hit back. Former chief nuclear negotiator Kim Yong-chol claimed that the country has "nothing more to lose," while Ri Su-yong, vice chairman of the Central Committee of the North's ruling Workers' Party, warned the US president against "any abusive language."
Working-level nuclear negotiations between the US and the North were last held in Sweden in October. But they produced little progress, with Pyongyang accusing Washington of having come to the table "empty-handed." (Yonhap)