North Korean rocket launch condemned

North Korea has launched a long-range rocket into space. According to the Government in Pyongyang, it was putting a satellite into orbit. However, the rocket launch has been strongly condemned by the international community. It is suspected that North Korea wanted to test an intercontinental missile under the pretext of a satellite launch.

The United Nations Security Council convened for consultations in New York on 12 December. Its members condemned North Korea’s actions as “a clear violation of Security Council resolutions 1718 and 1874”. These resolutions, adopted in 2006 and 2009 respectively, prohibit North Korea from launching ballistic missiles. A previous test launch by North Korea – which was unsuccessful – attracted the Security Council’s severe criticism only last April.

The members of the Security Council declared their intention to consider an “appropriate response”. Germany will have a seat on the Council until the end of December.

“Deliberate provocation”

People in North Korea

People in North Korea
© picuture-alliance/dpa

Bild vergrößern
People in North Korea

People in North Korea

People in North Korea

Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle spoke about the incident while in Marrakech for a conference on Syria. He called it a deliberate provocation by North Korea, an irresponsible violation of its international obligations which would heighten tensions in the region. Similar reactions came from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and EU High Representative Catherine Ashton. The latter also said that the EU would consider the possibility of further sanctions in connection with continued discussion of the matter within the UN.

North Korea’s Ambassador to Germany has furthermore been summoned to the Federal Foreign Office. The German Government’s position on the illegal rocket launch was made very clear to him there. At the same time, the German Ambassador in Pyongyang was instructed to carry out a demarche to the North Korean Foreign Ministry alongside his EU counterparts.

Last updated 12.12.2012

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