Ban: Pyongyang closed the door to dialogue

UN chief calls North Korean missile launch "deeply regrettable;" says UN sent country strong message.

ban ki moon un chief 248 (photo credit: AP [file])
ban ki moon un chief 248
(photo credit: AP [file])
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Sunday that North Korea's launch of ballistic missiles this weekend has "closed the doors" to dialogue, adding that Pyongyang's move was deeply regrettable and unhelpful for peacefully resolving tensions over its nuclear weapons program. "North Korea now has closed all the doors - all the doors of communication and dialogue. I'm deeply concerned about current status," said Ban. The UN secretary-general said he was concerned about the missile test firings and that they defied UN resolutions. "The [UN] Security Council has shown a very strong, unified message to DPRK on nuclear test as well as missile launch," Ban said, using the official name for North Korea, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. "They have to fully comply with this rather than taking such kind of defiant measures." Pyongyang's launch of seven missiles into waters off its east coast Saturday is "totally unhelpful in resolving all the issues peacefully through dialogue," said Ban, who spoke to reporters in Geneva ahead of a meeting by the UN Economic and Social Council. The missile firings came amid growing concerns over Pyongyang's firepower and they drew international condemnation. Still, the UN chief said he hoped the nations taking part in the so-called six-party nuclear talks will try to revive dialogue with North Korea. The talks involved the two Koreas, the US, Japan, China and Russia. Pyongyang in April quit the talks and vowed to restart its nuclear facilities to protest a UN statement condemning the firing of a long-range rocket it said was a satellite. North Korea has engaged in a series of acts this year widely seen as provocative. In late May it carried out its second underground nuclear test following the first in late 2006.