30th International Maritime Organization Assembly
(Responses to ballistic missile launches by North Korea)
1. At the 30th Assembly of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), which was held in London on November 29 (same day, local time), deliberations took place on responding to the grave concerns for the safety of international maritime transport that are being generated by North Korea’s repeated ballistic missile launches, and an IMO Council decision based on a document that was jointly proposed by a total of 15 countries*, including Japan, was approved.
* Japan, Australia, the Kingdom of Belgium, Canada, the French Republic, the Federal Republic of Germany, Greece, the Italian Republic, Malaysia, the Netherlands, the Republic of the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, the Kingdom of Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States of America
2. This joint document calls on the IMO Council to strongly condemn North Korea’s ballistic missile launches, and reiterates that it is essential to cease unlawful ballistic missile launches over international shipping lanes, in accordance with resolutions and other regulations adopted under the IMO. The document was submitted to the 29th Council Extraordinary Session of the IMO, and was adopted at the Council on November 25. In light of this, the content of the document was discussed further at this Assembly, and on that basis the Council’s decision to take action in accordance with the requests made in that document was approved.
3. Following North Korea’s ballistic missile launch on November 29, Japan reiterated at the 30th Assembly that the recent missile launch constitutes a clear violation of not only the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions, but also of the relevant treaties and resolutions of the IMO stipulating advance notification of information which might affect the safety of navigation, and that the missile launch represented a serious issue from the perspective of ensuring the safety of vessels.
4. In order to ensure the safety of international maritime transport, Japan intends to continue to work closely with the IMO and the countries concerned and strongly urge North Korea to comply with the relevant IMO treaties, resolution and other decisions.
The Assembly is the highest decision-making organ of the IMO. It consists of all IMO Member States and regions and meets once every two years. The Assembly decides the IMO’s work programme and budget, establishes auxiliary agencies, elects the Council Member States and discusses the Council’s reports.