News / Asia

US Condemns 'Highly Provocative' N. Korean Rocket Launch

A screen shows the Unha-3 [Milky Way 3] rocket being launched from a launch pad at the West Sea Satellite Launch Site, at North Korea's satellite control centre in Cholsan county, North Pyongan province in this picture released by the official KCNA news a
A screen shows the Unha-3 [Milky Way 3] rocket being launched from a launch pad at the West Sea Satellite Launch Site, at North Korea's satellite control centre in Cholsan county, North Pyongan province in this picture released by the official KCNA news a
VOA News
The United States has joined other governments in condemning North Korea's apparently successful long-range rocket launch, calling it a "highly provocative act" that threatens regional security.

Related - Defiant North Korea Carries Out 'Space Launch'

National Security Council spokesperson Tommy Vietor said Wednesday's launch is in direct violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions barring Pyongyang from using ballistic missile technology.

Key dates in North Korea's nuclear and missile program:

  • August 1998: Test fires Taepodong-1, its first long-range rocket, over Japan as part of failed "satellite launch."
  • September 1999: Pledges to freeze long-range missile tests amid improving ties with U.S.
  • March, 2005: Ends moratorium on missile tests, blames "hostile" policy of U.S.
  • July 5, 2006: Test fires seven ballistic missiles, including long-range Taepodong-2, which fails less than a minute after launch.
  • July 15, 2006: U.N. Security Council adopts Resolution 1695, demanding Pyongyang halt missile program.
  • October 9, 2006: Conducts first underground nuclear test
  • October 15, 2006: U.N. Security Council adopts Resolution 1718 demanding halt to missile and nuclear tests, banning sale of weapons
  • April 5, 2009: Launches long-range rocket that lands in Pacific. Claims success, but U.S. says no satellite placed in orbit.
  • April 13, 2009: U.N. Security Council condemns launch, tightens sanctions. Pyongyang quits six-party nuclear talks.
  • May 2009: Conducts second underground nuclear test.
  • June 2009: Security Council passes Resolution 1874, imposing tougher sanctions.
  • February 2012: Announces moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile programs in exchange for U.S. food aid.
  • April 2012: Launches long-range rocket, which falls apart shortly after lift-off. Acknowledges failure.
He vowed the U.S. will remain "vigilant in the face of North Korean provocation and fully committed to the security of our allies in the region," saying Washington will work with the U.N. to pursue "appropriate action."

Washington's two main Asian allies, Japan and South Korea, also demanded further U.N. sanctions on the North. In Seoul, Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan pledged North Korea would be “sternly held responsible” for violating United Nations resolutions that ban the country from launching such rockets.

Japan's Missile Defenses

Standard Missile 3 Interceptors
  • Ship launched missile
  • Used against short and intermediate range ballistic missiles
  • Cost per missile is $6 million to $9 million

Patriot Missile Interceptors
  • Launched from land-based mobile launchers
  • Used against ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and aircraft
  • Cost per missile is $3.5 million
Japan immediately convened an emergency session of its security council to analyze the situation. Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said Tokyo "cannot tolerate" the launch and has lodged a strong protest against North Korea.

Tokyo requested that the United Nations convene an emergency meeting of the Security Council to discuss new penalties.

Related - China Appeals for Calm After N. Korean Rocket Launch

China, North Korea's main ally and biggest trading partner, expressed "regret" at the launch. Foreign ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said Pyongyang should observe "relevant" U.N. resolutions, but said any Security Council resolution should be "prudent and moderate."

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon criticized the North for defying "unified and strong" calls from the international community. Ban said he is concerned about the negative consequences the launch will have on peace and stability in the region.

In Brussels, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the move risks "further destabilizing the Korean peninsula," and called on North Korea to "fulfill their obligations under international law."

The European Union, meanwhile, threatened fresh sanctions against Pyongyang. Foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said in a statement  the EU is considering an "appropriate response," including possible "additional restrictive measures."

Russia's foreign ministry expressed "deep regret" over the move, saying it "flaunts the opinion of the international community."

British Foreign Secretary William Hague released a statement sharply criticizing the impoverished communist country for choosing to "prioritize this launch over improving the livelihood of its people."

Watch related video of North Korea's rocket launch
Related video of North Korean rocket launchi
|| 0:00:00
X
December 12, 2012 3:45 PM
North Korea has released video it says shows the successful launch of a long-range rocket. The launch Wednesday has drawn stern condemnation from governments around the globe.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid