US asks UN to discuss risk of N.Korea 'provocation'
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Washington (AFP) –
The United States on Monday called a UN Security Council meeting this week on the risk of North Korean "provocation" as Pyongyang demands US concessions by a year-end deadline.
The United States, which holds this month's presidency of the Security Council, is scheduling the session instead of a planned meeting on human rights in North Korea, one of the world's most authoritarian states.
This week's meeting will provide "a comprehensive update on recent developments on the Korean Peninsula, including recent missile launches and the possibility of an escalatory DPRK provocation," a State Department spokesperson said, referring to the North by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
The Security Council also met last week behind closed doors to discuss 13 missile tests by North Korea.
That meeting was organized by European nations, which condemned North Korea's actions.
But the request for a new session shows growing alarm by the United States on North Korea, which has demanded that Washington propose a new offer by December 31 to kickstart nuclear negotiations.
North Korea has warned of countermeasures if not. On Saturday, North Korea also claimed to have carried out a "very important test" that will change its "strategic position," without providing further details.
President Donald Trump has met three times with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and described him as a friend, but Pyongyang is eager for concessions such as an easing of sanctions.
Trump has voiced hope for progress with North Korea, saying that Kim has "too much to lose, everything actually, if he acts in a hostile way."
© 2019 AFP