U.N., U.S. condemn North Korea’s “highly provocative” satellite launch

The United States strongly condemned North Korea’s successful satellite launch on Tuesday, calling it a “highly provocative act”. 

“North Korea’s launch —using ballistic missile technology despite express prohibitions by United Nations Security Council resolutions—is a highly provocative act that threatens regional security,” said National Security Council Spokesman Tommy Vietor. “This action is yet another example of North Korea’s pattern of irresponsible behavior.  The United States remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations and fully committed to the security of our allies in the region. Given this current threat to regional security, the United States will strengthen and increase our close coordination with allies and partners.”

North Korea’s state news agency – KCNA – announced yesterday that the second version Kwangmyongsong-3 was successfully launched into orbit at about 10 p.m. on Tuesday.

“The successful satellite launch in the DPRK was a desire at the behest of general secretary Kim Jong Il and part of peaceful work in line with the country’s scientific and technological development plan for the economic construction and improvement of people’s living standard,” said a spokesman for the North Korean Foreign Ministry. “All the people across the country are greatly excited at the news of the successful launch and progressives are extending sincere congratulations to them.”

The rocket launch was denounced by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, calling North Korea’s use of ballistic technology a “clear violation” of U.N. Security Council resolutions.

“The Secretary-General deplores the rocket launch announced by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). It is all the more regrettable because it defies the unified and strong call from the international community,” according to a written statement released by the Secretary General’s spokesman.

North Korea has brushed aside criticisms by the U.S. and the U.N., saying they are over-reactions to the country’s “peaceful” use of outer space.

“Hostile forces…are showing signs of sinister bid to take issue with the launch for peaceful purposes, while terming it ‘violation of resolution’ of the UN Security Council,” according to a statement by the North Korean Foreign Ministry. “We hope that all countries concerned will use reason and remain cool so as to prevent the situation from developing to undesirable direction. No matter what others say, we will continue to exercise our legitimate right to launch satellites and thus actively contribute to the economic construction and improvement of the standard of people’s living while conquering space.”

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said North Korea’s actions will result in consequences that’ll worsen the country’s isolation.

“In the hours and days ahead, the United States is going to work very closely with our Six-Party Talks partners and with our UN Security Council partners and other countries in the international community to take appropriate action,” Nuland said.

But given the decades of harsh sanctions imposed on North Korea and the country’s persona non grata status in the international community, it’s unclear how North Korea could be even more isolated that it is now.


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