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 Americans, Tourists, Reflect on Meaning of Thanksgiving

VOA garnered opinions from several people soon after November 13 Paris attacks, which colored many of their thoughts

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

In northern Thailand, the annual tradition of constructing floating baskets to carry away the year’s bad spirits highlights the Loy Krathong festival

Video Tree Houses - A Branch of American Dream

Workshops aimed at teaching people how to build tree houses have become widely popular in America in recent years

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.
Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syriai
November 26, 2015 5:21 AM
Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs