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UN Security Council 'strongly condemns' N. Korea rocket launch

The Security Council said it will take "significant measures" against Pyongyang as North Korea violates UN resolutions. Japan's ambassador said the launch posed a "direct threat" to the island nation and the region.

The UN Security Council on Sunday condemned the launch of a rocket launched by North Korea, which Pyongyang hailed as a "complete success."

"The members of the Security Council strongly condemn this launch," read a statement presented by Venezuela's UN Ambassador Rafael Ramiriez, who sits as the council's president for February.

Ramirez added that Sunday's launch strengthened the Security Council's determination to "take further significant measures" against North Korea after it violated four of the Council's resolutions.

"In line with this commitment and the gravity of this most recent violation, the members of the Security Council will adopt expeditiously a new Security Council resolution with such measures in response to these dangerous and serious violations," Ramirez added.

The statement, which was approved by all 15 Council members at an emergency meeting, said that the launch underscored Pyongyang's advances in ballistic missile technology, "even if characterized as a satellite launch or space launch vehicle."

Pyongyang's rocket launch has put Seoul on edge, prompting considerations of a missile defense system

Pyongyang's rocket launch has put Seoul on edge, prompting considerations of a missile defense system

'Direct threat'

Motohide Yoshikawa, Japan's ambassador to the UN, said "business as usual will no longer apply" in reference to the likelihood of stronger sanctions as she said the launch posed a "direct threat to Japan."

"There was unity in the Security Council in [expressing] outrage over the missile launch which took place four weeks after the nuclear test," said Yoshikawa, taking note of Pyongyang's claim that it tested a thermonuclear weapon.

Samantha Power, the United States' ambassador to the UN, told reporters that Washington would "ensure that the Security Council imposes serious consequences" on North Korea.

"The DPRK's latest transgressions require our response to be even firmer," Power said, referring to North Korea by the acronym of its official name: the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The UN Security Council's statement comes as South Korea's Defense Ministry said Sunday it would seriously consider the installation of an advanced missile system aimed at deterring Pyongyang's threat.

Watch video 02:20

North Korea launches long-range rocket | DW

ls/sms (AP, dpa, Reuters, AFP)

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