News / Asia

US Wants 'Consequences' For North Korean Rocket Launch

Scientists and technicians at the General Satellite Control and Command Center on the outskirts of Pyongyang watch the launch of the Unha-3 rocket from a launch site on the west coast, in the village of Tongchang-ri, North Korea, December 12, 2012.
Scientists and technicians at the General Satellite Control and Command Center on the outskirts of Pyongyang watch the launch of the Unha-3 rocket from a launch site on the west coast, in the village of Tongchang-ri, North Korea, December 12, 2012.
Margaret Besheer
The United States says it wants "consequences" for North Korea's rocket launch, and that it will seek international action in the coming days.

On Wednesday, the United Nations Security Council condemned the launch, calling it a clear violation of U.N. resolutions that ban Pyongyang from carrying out missile or nuclear-related tests.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice said the initial statement out of the Council was one the swiftest and strongest that the 15-member body has issued.  She said the United States will be working with the international community toward an appropriate action on North Korea.  She said Washington will look for a clear set of objectives that include consequences.   

Rice also said Pyongyang's actions "more than call into question" North Korea's commitment to return to six-nation talks on its nuclear program.

North Korea announced Wednesday that it launched a long-range rocket, which it says put a weather satellite into orbit.  North Korean state media called the launch a "groundbreaking" mission that met the "last instructions" of Pyongyang's late leader, Kim Jong Il.

"The second version of satellite Kwangmyongsong-3 successfully lifted off from the Sohae Space Center in Cholsan County, North Pyongan Province by carrier rocket Unha-3 on December 12.  The satellite entered its present orbit," the state media said.

Rice said that no matter how the North Koreans choose to describe the launch it violates two Council resolutions and shows that the country ``is determined to pursue its ballistic missile program without regard for its international obligations.''

She spoke to reporters after the U.N. Security Council held an emergency meeting on the launch.  

A successful rocket launch by the communist country would represent a major step forward in its quest to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command, or Norad said Wednesday North Korea has "deployed an object that appeared to achieve orbit."  Other analysts made the same assessment.

The timing of the launch surprised many observers and Western diplomats, given that reports Tuesday suggested North Korea was disassembling the rocket because of technical difficulties.

David Fouse, an analyst with the Hawaii-based Asia-Pacific Center for Strategic Studies, tells VOA the notoriously reclusive leadership in Pyongyang may have intentionally misled the international community.

"I'm not sure whether there was an intelligence failure or if the North Koreans were just kind of playing games with the international community. They might have wanted to catch people off-guard and I think they did surprise a lot of people with the timing of this launch," Fouse said.

North Korea said Monday a "technical deficiency in the first stage control engine module of the rocket" could delay the launch by a week.

In April, North Korea's three-stage, liquid-fueled Unha-3 rocket exploded just minutes after liftoff.  Previous attempts to fire long-range rockets in 2006 and 2009 also ended in failure, even though North Korean officials insisted that they succeeded.

The U.N. Security Council condemned the failed April launch and ordered foreign assets seized from several North Korean companies linked to financing and procuring weapons and missile technology.

Weeks after that launch, the United States responded by canceling a deal that would have provided the impoverished North with 240,000 metric tons of food.

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by: Zack Shoemaker from: Eugene, Oregon
December 13, 2012 1:54 AM
We want War. We'll be hypocritical to get it. No one is smart enough to launch rockets, unless the Voice of America says so.


by: daniwitz13 from: Hawaii
December 13, 2012 1:40 AM
Not sure what NATO rules say but it makes no sense. The US does not own the Universe. Every Country has a RIGHT to make technological advances into space. Many 'other' Countries have launched satellites into space for a myriad of reasons. While the US condemns N,K for launching an announced firing a Rocket into space, the US, without announcement, fired a "secret" rocket into space and orbit. Makes no sense to deny something that the US does constantly. To say that they are a designated terrorist Country is silly. North Korea could just as well designate the US as a terrorist Country and prohibit the US from firing Rockets. The US is a BULLY. Pity.

In Response

by: charlie from: USA
December 13, 2012 10:50 AM
yes, but nk cries poor and cannot provide food for its people. they ask for our money, but then spend it on sending a fireball to space. they also harbor anti-USA values and would potentially harbor US-enemies and their scientists to formulate a plot...


by: MrScott from: Michigan
December 13, 2012 1:19 AM
Like the UN is going to do something about it... They are as ineffective as the US Congress.


by: Uncle Sam from: USA
December 12, 2012 11:30 PM
Ok tell me why the US Is always lending its hand to a country that hates us. "Weeks after that launch, the United States responded by canceling a deal that would have provided the impoverished North with 240,000 metric tons of food." Even though it was canceled it was still on the board. Why are we even givinig North Korea anything at all. If we give the North food we in turn give the North Gov a surplus of it to use to there own will. If we don't give them a thing the people will suffer. True but people have to suffer in order to make a difference its called survival, its Called CHANGE>


by: Greg from: ottawa
December 12, 2012 11:21 PM
stop sending food and medicine make the country starve the americans need to grow up I say bring on world war 3 get rid of china russia and north korea make a stand with the nukes we possess and start the world over with mandatory peace period


by: Barry Winkle from: Arizona
December 12, 2012 11:05 PM
I want consequences for the US constantly f*ck@ng with with the rest of the world but what ya gonna do!


by: Reg from: CA
December 12, 2012 11:00 PM
Consequences? Maybe the US should nuke 'em?
I can't say as I blame other countries for wanting to arm themselves when the US keeps bombing and invading weaker nations.


by: Jayd from: Melbourne, Australia
December 12, 2012 10:52 PM
I think the Americans are just jealous that they no longer have the knowledge to build rockets.

All launches now done by the Russians, or the South Africans or the French. And soon China will also be able to help America get it's stuff in space.

Surprised you don't use India, they have gone to the moon after all.

Space is for all, America has no right to stop any country developing the technology to get there. America honestly has no right to stop any other country doing anything, you guys need to stay in your own country so we, in the rest of the world will be safe from you.


by: Jesus from: Seattle
December 12, 2012 10:31 PM
Yet another "boy who cried wolf" moment.


by: Major Trust
December 12, 2012 10:30 PM
This is stupid. If we want consequences for North Korea, then why dont we start Korea war all over again.

By the way, why can America, United Kingdom, Russia, China and other countries launch rockets and other countries can't? This post is such crazy and redundant.

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