News / Asia

International Community Considers Response to N. Korean Rocket Launch

Unha-3 rocket lifts off from a launch site on the west coast, in the village of Tongchang-ri, about 56 kilometers (35 miles) from the Chinese border city of Dandong, North Korea, Dec. 12, 2012.
Unha-3 rocket lifts off from a launch site on the west coast, in the village of Tongchang-ri, about 56 kilometers (35 miles) from the Chinese border city of Dandong, North Korea, Dec. 12, 2012.
It is still not clear if the satellite North Korea placed into orbit Wednesday is properly functioning. Meanwhile, the international community is still contemplating what action to take against the isolated and impoverished state, which conducted the
launch in defiance of previous United Nations resolutions.

South Korea has announced no immediate additional measures against the North as a result of what Seoul considers a test of ballistic missile technology.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Cho Tai-young told reporters Thursday the launch was a grave challenge to international peace.

Cho said North Korea disregarded previous U.N. Security Council resolutions and that South Korea thinks there must be harsher measures than those enacted following the North's previous failed launch in April.

The Security Council issued a statement calling it a clear violation of its previous resolutions prohibiting North Korea from activities that could help it develop ballistic missiles.

It is unclear whether any new U.N. resolution will follow that would include additional punishment on Pyongyang.

North Korea claims the launch of a three-stage liquid-fueled rocket was a peaceful use of space to deploy an "earth survey satellite."

The United States has also given no indication what additional punitive actions it is contemplating. Media reports prior to the launch suggested an American-led effort to further restrict North Korea's access to the international banking system.

Wednesday's launch came just a week before South Korea heads to the polls to choose a new president.

The front-runner, conservative Park Geun-hye of the Saenuri Party, accuses Pyongyang of trying to influence the election by carrying out the provocative launch.

Speaking at a campaign rally, Park said North Korea is trying to test the South Korean people. She calls on the electorate to choose a candidate with a strong view on national security.

Park's main opponent, Moon Jae-in of the Democratic United Party, says the North Korean launch demonstrates the failures of the conservatives.

Moon said the government's inability to figure out whether or not the North Korean missile was even on the launch pad shows its incompetence when it comes to national security.

President Lee Myung-bak is a member of the Saenuri Party. He is limited to a single five-year term.

However, analysts foresee the North Korean launch having a minimal impact in next Wednesday's election. Park maintains a narrow lead over Moon in the final public opinion polls released this week.

The two Koreas have no diplomatic or significant trade ties. They technically remain at war, because no peace treaty was signed after their devastating three-year civil conflict fought to a draw in the early 1950's.

You May Like

Video In US, Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy

Holiday marks date Columbus discovered Americas, but some are offended by legacy because he enslaved many natives he encountered More

Video Through Sports, Austria Tries to Give Migrants Traction

With 85,000 people expected to claim asylum in Austria this year, its government has made integration through joint physical activities a key objective More

Video Kickboxing Champion Shares Sport With Young Migrants

Pouring into Europe by hundreds of thousands, some migrants, especially youngsters, are finding sports a way to integrate into new host countries More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Moby220 from: Redondo Beach
December 13, 2012 11:27 AM
It is interesting that on the SAME day the the USAF launches a super secret "Space Plane" that looks a lot like a miniature shuttle that we so blatantly criticize another country for essentially doing the same thing as we are.. Hypocrisy ???

by: Marvin Iavecchia from: Washington DC
December 13, 2012 10:05 AM
oh no! Not an 'international response'!!! I tremble at the thought of thaaaat..

by: Brian S from: Pennsylvania
December 13, 2012 8:58 AM
It's amazing how the international community freaks out over something so minor. N Korea can't even support its own people and its scientists are pretty much closed off from the scientific community, do we really expect that they'll be able to deliver, or even develop a nuclear weapon?
In Response

by: Charlie from: USA
December 13, 2012 10:41 AM
actually, they have detonated a weak nuclear weapon. they've also demonstrated that they can continue to test and develop the capabilities for destroying large amounts of people without any interference from US or other foreign powers... so, we'll continue sanctioning them while our enemies give them support monetarily and scholastically in exchange for being able to get their hands on the tech... meanwhile the DPRK holds its citizens hostage and has them convince that USA wants to destroy them, so they will fight until the last man if provoked, and all innocents will be slaughtered or try to seek refuge in china and russia, which the chinese and russians don't want anything to do with either...

by: Erkel from: U.S.
December 13, 2012 8:35 AM
The North Koreans must have gone to a hobby shop and bought those large model rocket engines to be able to launch a rocket successfully. But does that "satellite" even work? The U.S. should destroy it while it's in orbit with one of our satellite killing technologies and tell the N. Koreans that it didn't really happen.

by: clarence from: lake charles, la.
December 13, 2012 8:08 AM
Yea, it was caused by by a faulty''AA'' battery in their remote control.

by: Mohammad Ataullah from: Canada
December 13, 2012 7:55 AM
Who is this International Community, USA, UK, Canada & Israel? What about the rest of the world as recently found out in UN Israel & Palestinian State Voting 138 to 9 (USA, Canada, Czech & tiny States hungry for USA Aids). Just like USA Baseball Series is called World Series. What a Deception. Get Real!

by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
December 13, 2012 7:23 AM
I don't know how UN and US have rights to ban North Korea to lauch rocket. How do they distinguish missile from satellite-lauching rocket? It's nonsense for countiries already bearing nuclear weapons to ban others to have the same thing attractive.
In Response

by: Nadeem Ahmed from: US
December 13, 2012 11:42 AM
Maybe the North koreans are happy living the way they are, if not human nature dictates at some point they would rebel.

Look at the US, the NK can also say Americans have no free healthcare and poor Americans are being deliberatly killed by their government, you can spin propaganda any which way you like.

Its nobodys business if NK sends a rocket into space, the Europeans and the Americans and others routinely do the same, as for Nuclea weapons, the US has the biggest arsenal in the world, who gave it the right to be the only one to have them, I apologize to the North Koreans, for American interference, it does not say anything to Israel who is the real International criminal and paraiah.
In Response

by: Erkel from: U.S.
December 13, 2012 8:42 AM
"It's nonsense for countries already bearing nuclear weapons to ban others to have the same thing attractive" Besides the poor syntax of your sentence the underlying statement shows you're in the dark about the leadership of North Korea. Don't forget they starve their own citizens and send them off to concentration camps to die. Allowing them to possess nuclear weapons is like giving a handgun to a baby.

by: Charlie from: USA
December 13, 2012 7:18 AM
it has been two weeks since the first rocket stage was delivered to the pad. any nation that didn't want the thing to go up had plenty of time to pre-emptively destroy it. DPRK is asking for war and considers itself in a war.
just bring all the US troops home, commission them CBP agents and secure our own border, F everyone else, where's OUR $multibillion subsidies and RPGs? o yea, i guess we just buy them for everyone else until they destroy each other and forget that they're being pickpocketed for their natural resources at the same time... very well then, carry on...
In Response

by: Matthew from: USA
December 13, 2012 11:49 AM
Spot on... Why is it so hard for everyone to see that this is exactly what is happening.
In Response

by: nm from: usa
December 13, 2012 9:26 AM
Well put.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemeni
Henry Ridgwell
October 12, 2015 4:03 PM
The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemen

The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video No Resolution in Sight to US House Speaker Drama

Uncertainty grips the U.S. Congress, where no consensus replacement has emerged to succeed Republican House Speaker John Boehner after his surprise resignation announcement. Half of Congress is effectively leaderless weeks before America risks defaulting on its national debt and enduring another partial government shutdown.

Video New Art Exhibit Focuses on Hope

Out of struggle and despair often comes hope. That idea is behind a new art exhibit at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. "The Big Hope Show" features 25 artists, some of whom overcame trauma and loss. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy as US Holiday

The second Monday of October is Columbus Day in the United States, honoring explorer Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the Americas. The achievement is a source of pride for many, but for some the holiday is marked by controversy. Adrianna Zhang has more.

Video Anger Simmers as Turks Begin to Bury Blast Victims

The Turkish army carried out new air strikes on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets on Sunday, a day after the banned group announced a unilateral cease fire. The air raids apparently are in retaliation for the Saturday bombing in Turkey's capital Ankara that killed at least 95 people and wounded more than 200 others. But as Zlatica Hoke reports, there are suspicions that Islamic State is involved.

Video Bombings a Sign of Turkey’s Deep Troubles

Turkey has begun a three-day period of mourning following Saturday’s bomb attacks in the capital, Ankara, that killed nearly 100 people. With contentious parliamentary elections three weeks away, the attacks highlight the challenges Turkey is facing as it struggles with ethnic friction, an ongoing migrant crisis, and growing tensions with Russia. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Afghanistan’s Progress Aided by US Academic Center

Recent combat in Afghanistan has shifted world attention back to the central Asian nation’s continuing civil war and economic challenges. But, while there are many vexing problems facing Afghanistan’s government and people, a group of academics in Omaha, Nebraska has kept a strong faith in the nation’s future through programs to improve education. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Omaha, Nebraska.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video In 'He Named Me Malala,' Guggenheim Finds Normal in Extraordinary

Davis Guggenheim’s documentary "He Named Me Malala" offers a probing look into the life of 18-year-old Malala Yousafsai, the Pakistani teenager who, in 2012, was shot in the head by the Taliban for standing up for her right to education in her hometown in Pakistan's Swat Valley. Guggenheim shows how, since then, Malala has become a symbol not as a victim of brutal violence, but as an advocate for girls’ education throughout the world. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.

Video Paintable Solar Cells May Someday Replace Silicon-Based Panels

Solar panels today are still factory-manufactured, with the use of some highly toxic substances such as cadmium chloride. But a researcher at St. Mary’s College, Maryland, says we are close to being able to create solar panels by painting them on a suitable surface, using nontoxic solutions. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs