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

    US-Russia Tensions Complicate Syria War

    With a shared enemy and opposing allies, Russia and the US are working to avoid confrontation

    Video Re-opening Old Wounds in Beirut's Bullet-riddled Yellow House

    Built in neo-Ottoman style in 1920s, it is set to be re-opened in Sept. as ‘memory museum’ - bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity

    Cambodian-Americans Lobby for Human Rights Resolution

    Resolution condemns all forms of political violence in Cambodia, urges Cambodian government to end human rights violations, calls for respect of press freedom

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    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.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora