A screen shows the Unha-3 (Milky Way 3) rocket being
launched from a launch pad at the North Korea's West Sea
Satellite Launch Site, at the satellite control centre in
Cholsan county, North Pyongan province. REUTERS/KCNA
The UN Security Council has condemned North Korea's
missile launch and will continue discussions on how to respond
to Pyongyang's violations of a UN ban on North Korean ballistic
missile development, the council president said.
"Members of the Security Council condemned this launch, which
is a clear violation of Security Council resolutions 1718 and
1874," Moroccan UN Ambassador Mohammed Loulichki, president
of the Security Council this month, told reporters.
"Members of the Security Council will continue consultations
on an appropriate response," he said after a closed-door
meeting on the North Korean missile launch.
Loulichki recalled the council's April 2012 warning to
Pyongyang that the council would act in the event of any
further rocket launches.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also strongly condemned the
launch as a "provocative act" in breach of Security Council
resolutions banning Pyongyang from developing
ballistic-missile and nuclear technology.
Several council diplomats said they hoped the 15-nation body
would consider adopting a binding resolution, possibly
expanding existing UN sanctions against Pyongyang.
"We support a strong reaction by the council, it's a clear
violation," French UN Ambassador Gerard Araud told reporters
before the council meeting. "But we have to see what our
"We do consider it logical to sooner or later have a
resolution," he added.
British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant echoed that sentiment:
"In our view (the council) should react, it should react
quickly, and it should react strongly to this provocation."
A senior Western diplomat said on condition of anonymity that
the United States, Europe, Japan and South Korea were among
those who would like to see UN sanctions expanded.
That could include adding more entities to the UN blacklist,
banning travel and freezing assets of individual North Korean
officials and tightening the cargo-inspection regime.
WHAT WILL CHINA ACCEPT?
Whether or not the council can agree a resolution - with or
without expanding the sanctions - will depend largely on
China and its diplomatic ally on the Security Council,
Russia. Both nations have veto powers and tend to support
each other and vote the same way on issues important to
either of them.
China's traditionally acts as the protector of neighboring
North Korea on the Security Council.
"Exactly what the Chinese will be prepared to accept in form
and substance is not yet clear," the diplomat said. He hoped
they could have a resolution agreed by the end of next week.
North Korea successfully launched a rocket on Wednesday,
boosting the credentials of its youthful new leader, Kim
Jong-un, who took power a year ago, and stepping up the
threat the isolated and impoverished state poses to
The rocket, which North Korea says put a weather satellite
into orbit, has been labeled by the United States, South
Korea and Japan as a test of technology that could one day
deliver a nuclear warhead capable of hitting targets as far
away as the continental United States.
It was Japan that first appealed to the Security Council to
take up the issue of North Korea's missile launch.
Ban, a former South Korean foreign minister, expressed
concern that the launch could negatively impact prospects for
peace and security in the region.
A statement issued by his office said the launch was "a clear
violation of Security Council resolution 1874, in which the
Council demanded that the DPRK not conduct any launch using
The statement said Ban had urged North Korea's leaders not to
launch a missile but "instead to build confidence with its
neighbors while taking steps to improve the lives of its
"The Secretary-General is concerned about the negative
consequences that this provocative act may have on peace and
stability in the region," the statement said, adding that Ban
was in touch with "concerned" governments.
North Korea followed what it said was a similar successful
launch in 2009 with a nuclear test that prompted the UN
Security Council to stiffen sanctions that it originally
imposed in 2006 after Pyongyang's first nuclear test.