UN's Ban condemns N Korea missile launch
12 December 2012, 11:32
New York - UN leader Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday was joined by the White House and Britain in condemning North Korea's missile launch which he called a "provocative act" in clear breach of UN Security Council resolutions, his spokesperson said.
The UN Security Council was to meet to discuss North Korea later on Wednesday, diplomats said.
"The secretary-general is concerned about the negative consequences that this provocative act may have on peace and stability in the region," said UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky.
Ban, a former South Korean foreign minister, said that the North's defiant act was "all the more regrettable because it defies the unified and strong call from the international community", the spokesperson added.
The UN leader said North Korea's launch was "a clear violation" of Security Council resolution 1874, passed after its nuclear test in 2009, which prohibited the North from conducting any launch using ballistic missile technology.
"The secretary-general has been urging the leadership in Pyongyang not to carry out such a launch and instead to build confidence with its neighbours while taking steps to improve the lives of its people," Nesirky said.
Ban was "in close touch" with governments close to the North Korea crisis, the spokesperson added.
In April, after a failed rocket launch by the North, the council passed a statement that warned of possible measures if North Korea made a new bid. China, a permanent member of the council with the right of veto, has resisted calls for more UN sanctions, diplomats said.
The 15-member council ordered sanctions after the North's nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009.
The United States and Britain also condemned the launch with the White House calling it "yet another example of North Korea's pattern of irresponsible behaviour".
Britain said it "deplored" North Korea's launch of a long-range rocket on Wednesday and vowed to summon the Asian country's UK ambassador to the Foreign Office.
"I strongly condemn the DPRK's satellite launch today," Foreign Secretary William Hague said in a statement.
"I deplore the fact that the DPRK has chosen to prioritise this launch over improving the livelihood of its people. We will be summoning the DPRK Ambassador to the UK to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office," he added.