NEW YORK CITY, Feb. 7, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — The United Nations Security Council met Sunday morning to condemn North Korea’s latest rocket launch and promise to take “significant measures” in response to Pyongyang’s violations of U.N. resolutions.
This month’s council president, Venezuelan Ambassador Rafael Dario Ramirez Carreno, told reporters, “The members of the Security Council strongly condemned this launch.” He described it as “a serious violation of Security Council resolutions.”
North Korea fired the long-range rocket and placed a satellite into space early Sunday morning.
U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power’s reaction was equally as strong. She told reporters: “We will ensure that the Security Council imposes serious consequences. DPRK’s (North Korea) latest transgressions require our response to be even firmer.”
The United States and China had already begun discussions on a U.N. sanctions resolution after Pyongyang’s Jan. 6 atomic test.
Sunday’s rocket launch was confirmed by U.S. Strategic Command spokesman Lt. Col. Martin O’Donnell.
O’Donnell said the incident “did not pose a threat to the U.S. or our allies.”
North Korea, officially named the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), said the launch was for scientific and “peaceful purposes” — also stating it plans to launch more satellites in the region.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the launch is “deeply deplorable,” adding it violates Security Council resolutions “despite the united plea of the international community against such an act.”
“This is the second time in just over a month that the DPRK has chosen to conduct a major provocation, threatening not only the security of the Korean peninsula, but that of the region and the United States as well,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement.
South Korea said it will begin discussing the deployment of the U.S. THAAD missile defense system in response to North Korea’s actions.
China said it “regrets” North Korea’s actions, but urged “relevant parties” to “refrain from taking actions that may further escalate tensions on the Korean peninsula.”