North Korea’s decision to go ahead with the launch of a long-range rocket has been almost universally condemned. The White House says it has left Pyongyang isolated and in violation of international law.
South Korea says it is searching for debris in its waters.
The foreign minister said Seoul strongly condemned North Korea’s new leadership for enforcing the rocket launch despite the international community’s united request to cancel it. Kim Sung-hwan added: “The North must take due responsibility for this.”
Like South Korea, Japan had said it would shoot the rocket down if it posed a threat to its territory.
And Tokyo is considering economic sanctions, depending on the UN Security Council’s reaction.
Cabinet secretary Osamu Fujimura said they were analysing the details of the flight but there was no danger from falling objects.
Germany’s foreign minister is also looking for a strong message from the Security Council which ordered an emergency session following the launch.
Guido Westerwelle said: “We condemn this launch of a rocket. This is a clear violation of international law and we think it is necessary that the Security Council of the United Nations gives a clear answer and a clear reaction to this violation of international law.”