MOSCOW Dec 12 Russia expressed "deep regret"
over North Korea's rocket launch on Wednesday, saying the
reclusive nation had violated a U.N. Security Council resolution
limiting its use of ballistic technology.
Russia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the North
Korean launch had heightened instability in the region and
called on other nations to refrain from further escalating
"The new rocket launch carried out by North Korea flaunts
the opinion of the international community, including calls from
the Russian side, and leaves us with deep regret," it said.
North Korea launched a long-range rocket for the second time
this year on Wednesday local time, and may have succeeded in
putting a satellite into space, the stated aim of what critics
say is a disguised ballistic missile test.
Russia's Defence Ministry said its early warning missile
systems had tracked the rocket launch along a southern
trajectory, the Interfax-AVN military news agency reported.
"Its flight took a southern course from the Korean
peninsula. It posed no threat to Russia," Interfax-AVN quoted an
unnamed Defence Ministry source as saying.
Russia is a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council
and is upset by any defiance of council resolutions. Past
launches by Pyongyang have caused concern among Russians living
near the country's border with North Korea.
North Korea says its rockets are used to put satellites into
orbit for peaceful purposes, but Moscow has said Pyongyang would
only be allowed to exercise that right if the U.N.-imposed
Russia has often balanced criticism of Soviet-era client
state North Korea's nuclear activities and missile launches with
calls on other powers to refrain from belligerent actions
against Pyongyang, which it says can be counterproductive.