Europeans on UN Security Council condemn North Korean tests

This picture taken on March 21, 2020 and released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on March 22, 2020 shows a demonstration fire of tactical guided weapons at an undisclosed location in North Korea

The European members of the UN Security Council on Tuesday condemned North Korea's latest missile tests, describing the launches as "provocative actions."

Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Poland, and the United Kingdom "are deeply concerned by the repeated testing of missiles, using ballistic missile technology," by North Korea on March 2, 9, 21 and 29, read a statement issued after an informal high-level UN videoconference.

The Europeans noted that Pyongyang has conducted 17 sets of such launches since May 2019.

The launches illustrate North Korea's "continued efforts to develop its ballistic missile programs and expand its arsenal, including of short-range ballistic missiles," adding that Pyongyang "has also continued to operate its nuclear weapon program."

North Korea is under multiple sets of sanctions from the United Nations, United States and others over its banned weapons programs.

"It is vital that the Security Council ensures full implementation of its resolutions and that sanctions remain in place," the statement read.

Pyongyang said on Monday that it had successfully tested "super-large multiple rocket launchers" the day before.

South Korea said two projectiles -- presumed to be ballistic missiles -- were fired on Sunday from the North Korean port city of Wonsan into the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea.

Analysts say the North continues to refine its weapons capabilities more than a year after a summit between the North's leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump broke down in Vietnam.

Negotiations have since been deadlocked over sanctions relief and what the North would be willing to give up in return.

The Security Council meeting requested by the Europeans, as well as the publication of their statement, took place on the last day that North Korea's ally China presided over the council.