UN calls on DPRK to refrain from ballistic missile tests

U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq speaks at a news conference on Feb. 3, 2016. (Photo: UN/NKT)

The United Nations has joined the chorus of voices calling on North Korea to abandon its plan to launch a satellite later this month.

“The Secretary-General believes that it is important for the DPRK to refrain from using ballistic missile technology and to work for the peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula,” U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters at a briefing on Wednesday.

North Korea’s Unha-3 rocket is judged to be close enough to the country’s ballistic missile program that any launches contravene U.N. Security Council resolutions. The resolutions in question are 1718 from 2006; 1874 from 2009; and 2087 and 2094 from 2013.

Earlier on Wednesday, Japan warned that it is prepared to “shoot down” any rocket that threatens the country and South Korea said the DPRK would pay a “severe price” for the launch. The U.S., China, Russia and France have also condemned the launch plans.

North Korea notified international institutions on Tuesday of its plans to conduct a launch of an earth observation satellite between Feb. 8 and 25 from its Sohae Satellite Launch Center in the northwest of the country.

An affiliate of 38 North