The United Nations Security Council has condemned North Korea's latest ballistic missile launches, calling them "unacceptable" and a clear violation of UN resolutions banning such tests.
A unanimous statement from the UN's most powerful body, after an urgent meeting called by the United States, reiterated its demand that North Korea comply with council resolutions prohibiting all ballistic missile activity.
The council expressed "grave concern" at North Korea's reaction to the resolution adopted unanimously two weeks ago that imposed the toughest sanctions on Kim Jong-un's government in response to its nuclear test in January and rocket launch in February.
In light of the North's ballistic missile launches on March 18 and March 10, the council urged all countries "to redouble their efforts" to implement all sanctions against the country.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on Pyongyang to "halt these inflammatory and escalatory actions".
"The situation on the Korean Peninsula, including the latest ballistic missile launches, is deeply troubling," Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters.
"We once again urge the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) to comply with its international obligations, including relevant Security Council resolutions," he said.
This month the 15-member Security Council imposed harsh new sanctions on North Korea to starve it of money for its nuclear weapons program. The resolution drafted by the United States and Pyongyang's ally China was unanimously adopted.
North Korea has been under UN sanctions since 2006 because of its four nuclear tests and multiple rocket launches.
Reuters / AP