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Security Council struggles to find response to N. Korea rocket launch

The UN Security Council has ended an emergency session without agreeing on an immediate response to North Korea's long range rocket launch. Pyongyang hails satellite launch as huge success.

the Security Council

Satellite launch or security threat? The jury's out

A United Nations Security Council emergency session has ended with no immediate action against North Korea for its rocket launch.

US President Barack Obama said North Korea's move was intended as a threat to countries "near and far" and that Pyongyang must be forced to change.

China and Russia called on all sides for restraint. Both had made clear before the launch that they would use their veto power to block any resolution imposing new sanctions on Pyongyang.

UN Security Council members "agreed to continue consultations on the appropriate reaction by the council ...given the urgency of the matter," Mexican U.N. Ambassador Claude Heller, who holds the body's rotating presidency, told reporters.

US Ambassador Susan Rice and Japanese Ambassador Yukio Takasu both called for a clear and firm response and said they wanted to see a fresh resolution.

Chinese Ambassador Zhang Yesui said any reaction must be "cautious and proportionate."

Washington and Tokyo want a resolution demanding stricter enforcement, and possibly expansion, of an existing arms embargo and financial sanctions.

New sanctions seem unlikely and it was unclear whether Moscow and Beijing would agree to a tightening of existing sanctions regime, including an arms embargo, against North Korea's communist regime.

Pyongyang says that it successfully launched a communications satellite but the US and South Korea called the mission a failure because the payload failed to get into orbit.

Meanwhile Japanese ships continue to comb the area in the Pacific Ocean where debris from the rocket went down to determine whether the object was a satellite or part of a long-range ballistic missile.

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