News / Asia

    UN Security Council Strongly Condemns North Korea Rocket Launch

    South Korean army soldiers watch a TV news program with a file footage about North Korea's rocket launch at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Feb. 7, 2016.
    South Korean army soldiers watch a TV news program with a file footage about North Korea's rocket launch at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Feb. 7, 2016.
    Margaret BesheerBrian Padden

    The U.N. Security Council has strongly condemned North Korea’s launch of a long-range rocket on Sunday.

    The rocket, carrying what Pyongyang said was a satellite, was launched from North Korea’s Tongchang-ri satellite launching facility near the northwestern border with China.

    In a rare Sunday session, Security Council members met behind closed doors for 90 minutes to discuss the next steps for dealing with the defiant Asian nation.

    Afterward, Venezuelan Ambassador Rafael Ramirez, who holds the Security Council presidency this month, read a statement from the council.  

    He said this launch, “as well as any other DPRK launch that uses ballistic missile technology, even if characterized as a satellite launch or space launch vehicle,” which contributes to Pyongyang’s “development of nuclear weapon delivery systems” is a “serious violation” of Security Council resolutions dating back to 2006.

    The council said it is ready to “develop significant new measures” in response to North Korea’s nuclear test of January 6, 2016 and Sunday’s missile launch.

    The council has imposed four rounds of increasingly stronger sanctions on North Korea in response to various nuclear and ballistic missile tests it has conducted since 2006.

    “By now it is pretty clear that the existing sanctions have not stopped North Korea from developing nuclear weapons and delivery system further,” said South Korean U.N. Ambassador Oh Joon.

    WATCH: U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power

    UN Security Council Condemns North Korea Rocket Launchi
    X
    February 07, 2016 6:28 PM
    U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said North Korea is going to face serious consequences for its action.

    ‘Tough, Unprecedented Measures’

    “There can be no business as usual,” U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power told reporters.  She said a new resolution must be quickly agreed to with “tough, unprecedented measures, breaking new ground here,” and “exceeding the expectations of Kim Jung Un.”  A reference to North Korea’s leader.

    China’s envoy, Liu Jieyi, agreed that a new resolution is necessary, but he did not indicate how tough Beijing is willing to be.

    “A new resolution that will do the work of reducing tensions, of working toward denuclearization, of maintaining peace and stability, and of encouraging a negotiating solution,” Liu told reporters.

    Russian envoy Vitaly Churkin said a new resolution must be “weighty,” but “reasonable.”
    “We believe we should not be looking at an economic collapse of the DPRK, we should not be of course looking toward some actions that would further heighten the tensions on the Korean peninsula and around it,” he said.

    World Condemns North Korea Rocket Launchi
    X
    Zlatica Hoke
    February 08, 2016 12:31 AM
    The United Nations Security Council has strongly condemned North Korea's Sunday rocket launch. In a statement issued hours after the launch, the 15-member body said it would quickly follow up with a sanctions resolution in response to Pyongyang's "dangerous and serious violations." The statement was adopted during an emergency meeting after North Korea announced that it had put a satellite into orbit with a rocket launch.

    ‘Totally Outrageous and Unacceptable’

    Ambassador Oh said North Korea’s actions are “totally outrageous and unacceptable.”  He said Sunday’s launch would have cost close to $1 billion, which “would have fed the entire North Korean population for a whole year.”

    Many North Koreans live in poverty and face severe food shortages. Government spending is directed toward military programs, and the country receives international humanitarian aid.  Last year, the United Nations appealed for over $100 million to fund food, agriculture, health, water and sanitation programs.

    Japan’s U.N. envoy, Motohide Yoshikawa, who along with the United States and South Korea called for Sunday’s session, said the time for dialogue is over and more pressure is needed in the form of a “robust” Security Council resolution to stop Pyongyang.

    For the past month, council members have been considering details of a U.S.-drafted sanctions resolution in response to North Korea’s January 6 nuclear bomb test.

    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center, watches a long range rocket launch into the air in North Korea, in this photo released by Kyodo, Feb. 7, 2016.
    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center, watches a long range rocket launch into the air in North Korea, in this photo released by Kyodo, Feb. 7, 2016.

    Venezuela’s envoy said “everybody knows we are waiting for the agreement between two countries” on that text.
     
    The two countries are the United States and China.
     
    China has urged more dialogue with its rogue ally, while the United States and other nations want tougher international measures.

    Increased sanctions

    The U.S. Congress is working on unilateral sanctions legislation that would target third parties companies and banks, many in China, that do business with North Korea.

    South Korean Army soldiers patrol by ribbons, wishing for the reunification of the two Koreas, attached on the barbed-wire fence in Paju, near the border with North Korea, South Korea, Feb. 7, 2016.
    South Korean Army soldiers patrol by ribbons, wishing for the reunification of the two Koreas, attached on the barbed-wire fence in Paju, near the border with North Korea, South Korea, Feb. 7, 2016.

    South Korea is reportedly considering closing the Kaesong Industrial Complex in response to the rocket launch.  The jointly run Kaesong project, that employs more than 50,000 North Koreans, is the last surviving inter-Korean development program.  Virtually all other inter-Korean ties and assistance programs were severed in 2010 after South Korea accused the North of sinking a navy warship and killing 46 sailors. 

    A flying object soars into the air above North Korean territory as seen from the Chinese border city of Dandong, in this photo taken by Kyodo February 7, 2016.
    A flying object soars into the air above North Korean territory as seen from the Chinese border city of Dandong, in this photo taken by Kyodo February 7, 2016.

    China support

    For sanctions to be effective China’s support, as the North’s chief benefactor and trading partner and as a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, is considered essential.

    But Beijing has been reluctant to support harsh punitive measures on North Korea.
    Pyongyang says its’ nuclear weapons program is necessary for national defense and non-negotiable.

    In early 2009 Pyongyang withdrew from “six party talks” with Washington, Seoul, Tokyo, Beijing and Moscow to dismantle its nuclear weapons program in exchange for economic assistance and security guarantees.

    Sunday’s launch occurred in the first hours of an accelerated February 7-14 launch time frame Pyongyang announced Saturday. Earlier it had alerted international meteorological and telecommunications agencies the launch would take place February 8-25.

    Technology

    North Korea is believed to be working on miniaturizing a nuclear warhead to mount on a missile, but many experts say it is some time away from perfecting such technology.

    The reclusive state is believed to have over 1,000 Soviet model missiles that can reach targets in South Korea and Japan, and enough plutonium to make eight to 12 nuclear bombs.

    Last year U.S. military authorities said they believe North Korea has the ability to miniaturize a nuclear warhead to fit on a KN-08 long range missile, although North Korea has not yet demonstrated this capability.

    Youmi Kim in Seoul contributed to this report.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: mr nobody from: usa
    February 08, 2016 1:34 AM
    North Korea funds such efforts by selling arms to hot areas in the middle east through Iran.

    Perhaps a few other items made it through to Iran as well... There are allies, enemies and just plain chaos.

    How far will the danger go? As North Korea leads, others will follow.

    by: Anonymous
    February 07, 2016 6:07 PM
    What is needed here is a global economic smack down on North Korea. Unfortunately, N. Korea's biggest supporter is going to be no help at all in achieving this. Therefore, China has to be included in any global sanctions. Should we isolate them both from the free world markets and Boycott China to freeze them out of the markets, which propelled them into world and regional economic dominance they would eventually be forced to change their attitudes toward reigning in N. Korea. Otherwise, their own internal and somewhat shaky civil populations would forcefully seek political redress. Either way, the North Koreans have now placed China in the crosshairs.
    China remains in a unique position as the only nation which can force change for the better in N. Korea, and pressuring them will eventually pay dividends in regional stability. China is the key.

    by: Marcus Aurelius II from: NJ USA
    February 07, 2016 10:40 AM
    As I see it, the democratically elected government in Seoul is the legitimate government of Korea. The government on Pyongyang is an illegitimate rebel occupying force no different from IS, the Taleban, or any other tyrannical dictatorship except in the dogma used to justify its existence. Therefore, by the same logic that allows Russia to claim it can legally attack the rebels in Syria, should the government in Seoul ask for military intervention by the US, it would also have the legal right to attack the rebels in the north. It is also legal under so called international law because the leader of those rebels has announced that he will attack the US with nuclear weapons and ICBMs he is developing. That development is a clear and present danger to the US and it has the right to attack, just as Israel has the right to attack a country that has said it wants to erase it from the map. What are you people out there waiting for, the lunatics to actually carry out those threats? Don't you believe that they mean what they say?
    In Response

    by: SgtByrd from: Nebraska
    February 08, 2016 12:46 AM
    I agree, But look who's prez. As I recall we went to war over a boat shooting at one of ours. ( I was there). When are we gonna protect the U.S ? .. Iran ? .. NK ? and Syria ( the terrorist ) China needs to put a mill troops on NK's border. we need to take out Iran Nuke plants and put troops on the ground to take out isis. not just a couple units but the full weight of the American military. Can't weight for the current potus is gone so we can take care of business. NK gotta go.
    In Response

    by: meanbill from: USA
    February 07, 2016 2:51 PM
    Hey Marcus _ Better you read the real history of Korea from after WW2 to the beginning of the Korean war, [and then], find out why Korea was divided into north and south and why the Korean war started? .. Then after learning the history of Korea in that timeline, you'll know why there is so much animosity between both sides, and making it almost impossible to reunify? .. The North Koreans will never trust the US controlled South Koreans, no matter how much propaganda the US spews out? .. Read it, to find out why?

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