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UN Security Council Adjourns Without Response to North Korea Rocket Launch


The U.N. Security Council met in emergency session on Sunday afternoon to discuss concerns over North Korea's launch of a long-range rocket. But the closed-door consultations did not produce a clear and unified response.

Diplomats say the council was unified in its deep concern over the launch, but that it could not immediately agree what form its response should take.

The United States and Japan say they want a clear message in the form of a Security Council resolution condemning the launch.

U.S. Ambassador, Susan Rice said "It is our view that this action merits a clear and strong response from the United Nations Security Council. We will be embarked on additional consultations with partners in the Security Council as well as allies and concerned parties outside of the Security Council towards obtaining that kind of outcome."

North Korea's allies - China and Russia - are calling for less severe action.

Chinese Ambassador, Zhang Yesui said "Our position is that all countries concerned should show restraint and refrain from taking actions that might lead to increased tensions."

Diplomats close to the talks say council members agreed on their concern about the launch, North Korea's need to return to the Six Party Talks and its need to respect existing Security Council resolutions. But there is disagreement over whether the launch of what North Korea says was a communications satellite was a violation of U.N. Security Council resolution 1718. That resolution prohibits North Korea from conducting "any further nuclear test or launch of a ballistic missile".

Whether the council's response will take the form of a resolution with new sanctions or a non-binding statement that carries weight because it requires council unity, will likely play out over the coming days.

North Korea launched the rocket on Sunday, despite international diplomatic efforts to persuade it not to. Several countries, including the United States, believe the rocket was a cover for a long-range ballistic missile test.

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