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Japan to Call for Urgent Security Council Meeting if NoKor Launches Rocket

Japan says it will call an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council if North Korea follows through on plans to launch a test rocket that would fly over its territory. From United Nations headquarters in New York.

Japan's U.N. Ambassador Yukio Takasu told reporters that North Korea's announcement has caused tremendous anxiety among the people of Japan, as well as raising regional and international tensions.

He said Tokyo and others have been making intensive diplomatic efforts to persuade Pyongyang not to conduct the test launch of what it says is a satellite, but what many nations believe is cover for a long-range ballistic missile test.

"If this effort will not result in a positive way, Japan will request urgent meeting of the Security Council to discuss this issue and to discuss response," Takasu said. "It must be clear and firm. And this could take place even this coming weekend. So I shared this information with my colleagues in the council. The U.S. ambassador and the French ambassador supported Japan's proposal very strongly."

Japan, which is a member of the 15-member Security Council, said there is a very clear understanding among council members that the possible launch affects not only Japan's security, but also international peace and non-proliferation.

The United States, South Korea and Japan have said the launch would violate U.N. resolution 1718, which prohibits North Korea from conducting "any further nuclear test or launch of a ballistic missile".

Asked what the council's response would be to a launch, Ambassador Takasu said it should be firm and clear, and that he would not rule out the possibility of another U.N. resolution.