|This photo provided by Korea's Defense Ministry, shows an object salvaged by Korea's military that is presumed to be part of the North Korean space-launch vehicle that crashed into sea following a launch failure in waters off Eocheongdo island, Korea, Wednesday, May 31. Yonhap|
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted a resolution strongly condemning North Korea's missile tests for the first time earlier this week, in a clear message to the reclusive country against its escalating provocations.
The resolution, adopted at the 107th session of the IMO's Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) in London on Wednesday (local time), denounced the launches as a serious threat to the safety of international navigation and urged compliance with due regulations, including giving prior notice ahead of any missile tests.
In a press release, South Korea's foreign ministry stressed that it marks the first time the committee handling maritime safety issues has adopted a resolution on the North's missile provocations, though it has condemned the tests previously.
North Korea has escalated its saber-rattling recently, launching what it claimed to be a "space launch vehicle" allegedly carrying a military reconnaissance satellite earlier this week.
Official documents adopted by the IMO are classified into resolutions, circulars and decisions, with resolutions considered as the most powerful recommendations to its member states, according to the ministry.
Previously, the MSC has adopted circulars expressing grave concerns over Pyongyang's continued missile launches without prior notification to the IMO in 1998, 2006 and 2016.
The resolution is not legally binding but offers its recommendation of maritime affairs as guidelines to IMO member countries, stepping up the international community's pressure on the North.
The IMO, headquartered in London, is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for regulating shipping. (Yonhap)