UN chief calls for unified response on North Korea

April 8th, 2009 - 6:53 am ICT by IANS  

New York, April 8 (Xinhua) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has hoped that the Security Council will come out with “a unified message” on the issue of North Korean rocket launch.
“I have already issued my statement, expressing my regret over the launch. I understand that the Security Council is still in the process of discussing this matter,” Ban told reporters here Tuesday.

“My hope is that the Security Council will come out with a unified message on the issue.”

On Sunday, the secretary-general issued a statement saying that he regretted that Pyongyang went ahead with its planned rocket launch “against strong international appeal”.

The 15-nation Security Council held an emergency session Sunday afternoon on the issue following the request of Japan but failed to come up with a collective response, but agreed to carry out further consultations on this issue.

On Monday afternoon, the five permanent members of the Security Council - Britain, China, France, Russia and the US - plus Japan met again in a closed-door meeting, but failed to agree on stronger sanctions against the communist country following the veto by China and Russia.

North Korea said it successfully launched an “Unha-2″ rocket at 11:20 a.m. Sunday, and sent a “Kwangmyongsong-2″ satellite into orbit in about nine minutes. South Korean and Russian reports also acknowledged that it was a satellite launch.

However, Japan and the US said that was a test fire of long-range “Taepodong-2″ missile under the guise of a satellite, claiming the launch was a violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1718, which bans Pyongyang from conducting nuclear test or launching ballistic missiles.

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