The US ambassador to the UN Security Council has said the body deplored Friday's failed North Korean rocket launch, saying it was in violation of two of the body's resolutions.
The acting president of the UN Security Council, Ambassador Susan Rice of the US, said on Friday that the council "deplored" a North Korean rocket launch in the early hours of the day.
"Members of the Security Council deplored this launch, which is in violation of Security Council resolutions," Rice said after the closed-door talks. When asked whether sanctions might be imposed as a result, the US official said in her domestic capacity that "we think a credible reaction is important, and we'll be working in that direction."
The Security Council issued a brief statement, saying that the assembled members had agreed to continue discussions "on an appropriate response in accordance with [the council's] responsibilities given the urgency of the matter."
The US considered the launch, which ultimately failed to deliver a satellite into orbit, a violation of Security Council resolutions 1718 and 1874, while top officials from the EU and UN explicitly mentioned the latter as being violated.
A spokesman for Ban Ki-moon said the UN secretary general called the launch "deplorable as it defies the firm and unanimous stance of the international community."
Failed launch, successful provocation
North Korean officials in Pyongyang said the launch was not a ballistic missile test, outlawed by the resolution, but rather the "high-point" of celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of its late founder, Kim Il Sung. The rocket itself did not reach its planned peak, with the satellite-carrying component failing to reach orbit. The North acknowledged a few hours later that "scientists, technicians and experts are now looking into the cause of the failure."
According to South Korean officials, the rocket was airborne for roughly two minutes before disintegrating and falling into the Yellow Sea.
"[The launch] requires an immediate, unequivocal and credible reaction by the Security Council. It is a provocation that we of course condemn," the German ambassador to the UN, Peter Wittig, told reporters in New York.
North Korea and the US recently reached a deal for extensive food aid in return for Pyongyang halting its nuclear program, Washington has since suspended that deal.
msh/ncy (AFP, AP, Reuters)