UN condemns North Korea rocket launch | News | DW | 16.04.2012
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UN condemns North Korea rocket launch

The UN Security Council has condemned North Korea over its rocket launch last week. The body also threatened Pyongyang with fresh sanctions if it carries out further ballistic missile or nuclear tests.

The UN Security Council issued a strongly worded statement on Monday that called on North Korea to refrain from any more tests or face serious consequences.

"The Security Council strongly condemns the 13 April 2012 launch by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)," the statement said. "The Security Council demands that the DPRK not proceed with any further launches using ballistic missile technology and comply with [Security Council] resolutions ... by suspending all activities related to its ballistic missile program," it said.

The council also demanded North Korea "abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner ... and not conduct any further launches that use ballistic missile technology, nuclear tests or any further provocation."

The body's 15 members said Pyongyang had violated two UN resolutions that banned it from importing and using ballistic missile technology.

Statement backed unanimously by council

All members of the council, including China, which is viewed as North Korea's protector, backed the statement.

The body agreed that existing sanctions would be expanded. It called on the Security Council committee to identify new "entities and items" to add to the sanctions list within 15 days and to update its list of individuals and North Korean companies involved in the North Korean nuclear program.

The sanctions blacklist was drawn up after North Korea staged nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009.

North Korea on Friday attempted to launch a rocket, which it said was meant to send a weather observation satellite into orbit. The rocket flew only 120 kilometers (75 miles)and then crashed into the Yellow Sea.

Members of the international community, including the US and South Korea, said the rocket was similar to a type capable of carrying a nuclear warhead and that the launch was a disguised test.

Asked whether North Korea was likely to heed the Security Council's warning, acting Council President Susan Rice, Washington's ambassador to the UN, expressed skepticism.

"I'm not going to comment on intelligence matters but there is the fact of history that in 2006 a launch was followed by a nuclear test, the same was true in 2009," she said. "Clearly the potential for that pattern to persist is one that all members of the international community are mindful of and think would be a disastrous course for the North to pursue."

ncy/ipj (dapd, AFP, DPA, Reuters)