The UN Security Council on Wednesday condemned a controversial rocket launch by North Korea and warned of its intention to respond with "appropriate measures" if the isolated country follows up with similar launches.
"Members of the Security Council condemned this launch, which is a clear violation of Security Council resolutions 1718 and 1874," said a statement made after the 15-member council carried out emergency talks about the launch behind closed doors.
The council made it clear it believed that North Korea had used "ballistic missile technology." It also pointed out that it had already warned North Korea after it carried out a failed launch in April that there would be repercussions if it made a renewed attempt.
"Members of the Security Council will continue consultations on an appropriate response," added the statement.
The United States also strongly condemned the rocket launch and warned that there would be "consequences" for such a breach of UN resolutions. US ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice said that there would be immediate talks on international action.
Rocketing over Japan
On Wednesday morning, North Korea launched a rocket from the Sohae Space Center, on the west coast of the country, according to reports by the Korean Central News Agency. The Unha-3 rocket passed over Japanese territory before it fell into the sea, according to media reports.
"Launch time was around 9:49 am. The missile that North Korea calls a satellite passed over Okinawa around 10:01. We launched no interception," said the Japanese government.
"It is extremely regrettable that North Korea went through with the launch despite our calls to exercise restraint," chief government spokesman Osamu Fujimura was reported as saying to the AFP news agency. "We strongly protest to North Korea."
sej/hc (AFP, dpa, Reuters)