04/06/2009, 00.00
KOREA – UN
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UN, no agreement on sanctions against Pyongyang over missile launch

Washington, Seoul and Tokyo demand a “strong response”. Beijing and Moscow are more cautious and speak of “proportional” measures. The failed launch of the North Korean missile constitutes a violation of UN resolutions. South Korea underlines that Pyongyang is aiming for space while the population languishes in famine. Obama asks for a program “against the proliferation of nuclear weapons”.

Seoul (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The emergency meeting called by the United Nations Security Council to discuss North Korea's rocket launch has ended without agreement. Yesterday morning at 11.30 local time, Pyongyang sent its’ rocket into orbit, but after less than 13 minutes of flight the experiment failed.  The first module ended up in the Sea of Japan 270 km from the prefecture of Akita; the second fell in the Pacific Ocean 1200 km from the Japanese coast.

The International Community is concerned, amid fears that North Korea’s experiment is the first step towards realising a missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads.  Pyongyang has always maintained the legitimacy of its “peaceful space-program” aimed at realising a “telecommunications satellite”.

In light of this, the United Nations is divided over eventual sanctions to adopt against the communist regime.  Diplomats confirm that talks have broken down; international analysts underline that any accord will take days.   Washington and Tokyo demand a “strong response”; Moscow and Beijing are more cautious, Chinese representatives to the UN report that any measures taken by the Security Council must be “cautious and proportional”.

Today the South Korean parliament adopted a resolution which denounces the launch because it constitutes “serious provocation” and urges “international cooperation to sanction the communist regime”.  Hyun In-taek, South Korean Unification Minister, adds that North Korea should think of feeding its people, who are starving, if it has the capital to invest in space experiments.

Strong condemnation also arrives from the US President Barak Obama.  In a speech concluding the summit between the United States and European Union, Obama affirmed that North Korea has “further isolated itself from the community of nations”, underlining “the urgency for a program against nuclear proliferation”.

 

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