UN Security Council Said Ready to Condemn Pyongyang Missile Launch

Posted April 16th, 2012 at 1:30 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

U.N. diplomats say they expect to announce a Security Council statement Monday denouncing North Korea's attempt to launch a long-range rocket last week.

Unidentified diplomats are quoted as saying council members have reached agreement after three days of talks behind closed doors. They say the statement will be released Monday morning in New York unless objections are raised overnight.

Details of the Security Council statement were not disclosed, but U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell also hinted at an agreement during a visit to Japan, where he has been meeting with senior officials.

“I think, first of all, in the process at the United Nations, I think you will see specific steps on Monday when the Security Council returns, and I would refer you to developments in New York. All I can say is that there's been very close coordination between the United States and Japan and I think what we have heard is satisfaction with how we've worked together and what indeed we have accomplished together.”

U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said after Friday's talks that the council members “deplored” the launch, which was carried out despite U.N. resolutions barring North Korea from using ballistic missile technology. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also said the launch was deplorable, but the council issued no formal statement.

Reports say the statement has been delayed by China, which was seeking softer language than that favored by the United States. Council statements require unanimous agreement, unlike resolutions, which are passed on a vote.

North Korea staged the launch attempt Thursday, saying it aimed to put a weather satellite into orbit as part of the ceremonies marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of national founder Kim Il Sung. However, Western nations criticized the effort as a ploy to test a ballistic missile that could later be fitted with a nuclear warhead.

The rocket broke up shortly after launch, with debris falling into the Yellow Sea.