The United Nations has given its reaction to North Korea’s failed attempt to launch a long-range rocket – a launch that has already cost the reclusive state a delivery of food aid from the US.
The US ambassador to the UN and current Security Council President Susan Rice said: “Members of the Security Council deplored this launch which is in violation of Security Council resolutions 1718 and 1874. Members of the Security Council agreed to continue consultations on an appropriate response in accordance with its responsibilities given the urgency of the matter.”
The rocket lifted off Friday morning in defiance of international opinion but embarrassingly for Pyongyang it broke up after just minutes and crashed into the China Sea.
China is the impoverished state’s closest ally. But even Beijing had asked North Korea not to go ahead with the launch. It is now calling for “calm and restraint” and its foreign minister, Liu Weimin, said China would “continue to coordinate with all sides in an effort to maintain regional peace and stability”.
The launch was supposed to be part of centenary celebrations for the birth of North Korea’s founder, Kim Il-sung.
The fear now is Pyongyang may try to save face by carrying out a nuclear test.