April 5, 2009 / 6:47 AM / 11 years ago

World reaction to North Korea rocket launch

(Reuters) - North Korea launched a long-range rocket over Japan on Sunday, drawing swift international condemnation and triggering an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council.

Here is a selection of quotes from world leaders:

* Denotes new comment.


President Barack Obama:

“North Korea’s development and proliferation of ballistic missile technology pose a threat to the northeast Asian region and to international peace and security.

“With this provocative act, North Korea has ignored its international obligations, rejected unequivocal calls for restraint, and further isolated itself from the community of nations.”


Foreign Minister Yoo Myung-hwan:

“The North’s launch is a provocative act that clearly violates U.N. Security Council 1718 that regardless of the North’s claims threatens peace and stability of the Korean peninsula and Northeast Asia.

“This government and the international community is deeply disappointed that the North went ahead with the long-range missile at the enormous cost that could resolve its chronic food shortage.

“The government is stepping up readiness in response to any provocation by the North and is taking specific actions against this launch together with the United Nations and related countries.”


Prime Minister Taro Aso:

“The fact that North Korea went ahead with the launch despite repeated warnings from around the world, especially the United States, South Korea and Japan, was an extremely provocative act and one that Japan cannot let go unchallenged.

“So, cooperating with the international community, we want to respond (considering that) it was clearly a violation of the U.N. resolutions.”


*Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi was paraphrased by his ministry as telling counterparts in the United States, Russia, Japan and South Korea: “All sides ought to look at the big picture ... (and) avoid taking actions which may exacerbate the situation further.” [nSP417401]


*Russia said Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told his Japanese counterpart in a phone conversation that “it is necessary ... to continue six-party talks on the nuclear problem of the Korean peninsula.”

Foreign Ministry spokesman:

“We are checking whether this (launch) is not a violation of certain resolutions of the U.N. Security Council and call on all sides to refrain from actions that could lead to escalation of tensions on the Korean peninsula.”


Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

“Given the volatility in the region ... such a launch is not conducive to efforts to promote dialogue, regional peace and stability. The Secretary-General urges (North Korea) to comply with relevant Security Council resolutions.”


EU Presidency (held by Czech government) [nL569338]:

“These actions place additional strains on regional stability at a time when the unresolved nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula requires mutual confidence-building.”


Foreign Secretary David Miliband:

“I strongly urge North Korea to cease immediately all further missile-related activity and commit to engaging constructively with international partners, in particular through the Six Party Talks process.”


*President Nicolas Sarkozy, to TF1 television:

“This is a provocation by North Korea. This is a regime that has placed itself outside international law ... The union of the international community must punish a regime that does not respect any international rules. My position in regard to North Korea is the same as with Iran. Together, the international community is going to isolate this regime, (and) must make an announcement on the sanctions to be reinforced, so long as they have not understood that they cannot have an aggressive attitude on military nuclear technology.”

Compiled by World Desks in Singapore and London

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