WASHINGTON, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- The U.S. State Department said any North Korea launch of a submarine-launched ballistic missile is a violation of a United Nations Security Council resolution.
Katina Adams, spokeswoman for the Department's Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, told Voice of America on Monday the launch and use of ballistic missile technology is banned by a U.N resolution, and urged North Korea to focus on measures that could comply with its obligations and commitments.
North Korea's launch of a SLBM was captured on South Korea surveillance Saturday, but was deemed a failure only because South Korea military could not trace the missile.
North Korea's SLBM development has raised concerns in Seoul and Washington, and could be a topic of discussion at a meeting of six-party talks senior representatives from the United States, South Korea and Japan in December.
Analysts also have raised the issue of disappearances in Kim Jong Un's regime, and Seoul's spy agency has said Workers' Party Secretary Choe Ryong Hae was purged for a power plant malfunction in either late October or early November.
Such high-profile purges have placed Seoul's North Korea watchers on alert.
Yonhap reported on Tuesday that North Korean official Hwang Pyong So, who negotiated an agreement with the South on Aug. 25, also has been missing after being last seen on Nov. 11.
Hwang Pyong So was recognized as a national hero for brokering an agreement with the South that defused tensions, and it's unlikely he was removed, according to Ahn Chan-il of the World North Korea Research Center. Still, Ahn said, the situation warrants close attention.
Hwang and another North Korean official were responsible for an agreement that has since allowed for greater civic exchange between North and South, including reunions for separated families in late October.
On Monday Rep. Charles B. Rangel, D-N.Y., and Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., called for similar family reunions, between Korean Americans and their long-lost relatives in North Korea, Yonhap reported.
In April, the House Foreign Affairs Committee passed the Range-Royce Resolution On Reuniting Divided Families.