Hwang Joon-kook, ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations, speaks during a meeting of the United Nations Security Council to discuss the situation in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Aug. 17, 2023, at United Nations headquarters. AP-Yonhap

South Korea’s top envoy to the U.N. denounced North Korea’s failed satellite launch this week as “one of the most expensive fireworks” on Friday, stressing that it has used its scarce resources for the launch despite persistent food shortages.

Ambassador Hwang Joon-kook made the remarks as the U.N. Security Council (UNSC) held an open meeting to discuss the North’s launch of the satellite on Monday, which Seoul, Washington and others criticized as a violation of UNSC resolutions banning any launch using ballistic missile technology.

“The launch is one of the most expensive fireworks,” Hwang said. “The DPRK dissipated its scarce resources into that launch, which could have been better spent on feeding its people.”

DPRK stands for the North’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Hwang highlighted that North Korean leaders are enjoying luxury goods and showing off their military arsenal “at the cost of the people who suffer from chronic food shortages.”

“The DPRK has no one to blame but itself for its own humanitarian crisis,” he said. “It is estimated that the cost of launching a so-called ‘satellite’ is equivalent to almost several months’ worth of food for the entire population of the DPRK.”

Robert Wood, the deputy U.S. ambassador to the U.N., struck the same note.

“The DPRK’s dire humanitarian situation is of the country’s own making,” he said.

“(North Korean leader) Kim Jong-un could alleviate his people’s suffering immediately by allowing international aid 스포츠토토존 organizations to re-enter the country and by investing in his people’s well-being instead of his unlawful weapons programs.”