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Global Community Outraged by North Korean Rocket Launch

  • VOA News

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reacts as he watches a long range rocket launch in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang, Feb. 7, 2016.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reacts as he watches a long range rocket launch in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang, Feb. 7, 2016.

Global reaction to North Korea's announcement of launching a long-range rocket has been swift and created universal international outrage.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement condemning Pyongyang for “a flagrant violation of U.N. Security Council Resolutions” related to the use of “ballistic missile technology.”

Susan Rice, the U.S. national security advisor, said, "North Korea's launch using ballistic-missile technology ... represents yet another destabilizing and provocative action and is a flagrant violation of multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions."

Rice said the North Korea's weapons programs "represent serious threats to our interests, including the security of some of our closest allies."

U.S. Congressman Ed Royce, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said, "This latest aggression underscores the importance of enacting my legislation to strengthen targeted sanctions against this brutal regime.”

'Direct violation'

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg on Sunday blasted North Korea's launch as a "direct violation" of five U.N. Security Council resolutions and demanded Pyongyang comply with international law.

In a statement, Stoltenberg said he strongly condemned the launch, which entailed the use of ballistic-missile technology and came after a widely condemned nuclear test on January 6.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye called the rocket firing an "intolerable provocation."

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe promised to “take action to totally protect the safety and well-being of our people.''

Passers-by look at a TV screen showing Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speak on North Korea's rocket launch, in Tokyo, Feb. 7, 2016.

Passers-by look at a TV screen showing Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speak on North Korea's rocket launch, in Tokyo, Feb. 7, 2016.

The European Union lashed North Korea's launch of a long-range rocket as "yet another outright and grave violation" of its obligations and urged Pyongyang to engage in dialogue with the international community.

"These actions represent a direct threat to international peace and security in the region and beyond, and they further aggravate tensions on the Korean Peninsula to the detriment of all," EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said in a statement.

'Clear and deliberate'

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond called the launch a "clear and deliberate" violation of a number of U.N. Security Council resolutions.

France called the launching of the long-range rocket "a senseless provocation" and called for "a rapid and tough response from the international community at the Security Council."

The U.N. Security Council is meeting Sunday to discuss the North Korean rocket launch at the request of the U.S., Japan and South Korea.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon described North Korea's move as "deeply deplorable" and "in violation of relevant Security Council resolutions."

Visitors watch the North Korean side at the unification observation post near the border village of Panmunjom, which has separated the two Koreas since the Korean War, in Paju, South Korea, Feb. 7, 2016.

Visitors watch the North Korean side at the unification observation post near the border village of Panmunjom, which has separated the two Koreas since the Korean War, in Paju, South Korea, Feb. 7, 2016.

Russia, which shares a border with North Korea and is one of the country's few backers, said Pyongyang displayed "audacious disdain for the norms of international law."

The Russian Foreign Ministry said, "We urgently recommend that the North Korean leadership think whether the policy of placing yourself in opposition to the international community is in the country's interests."

Beijing responded to Sunday's launch, expressing "regret" the North disregarded the opposition from the international community.

Julie Bishop, Australia's foreign minister said North Korea is a "threat to world peace" and condemned North Korea's "provocative, dangerous and destabilizing behavior."

Some material for this report came from AP, AFP and Reuters.

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