U.N. condemns North Korea launch, warns on nuclear test
By Louis Charbonneau
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The U.N. Security Council on Monday strongly condemned North Korea's rocket launch, urged tightening of existing U.N. sanctions and warned Pyongyang of further consequences if it carries out another missile launch or nuclear test.
China, a permanent veto-wielding council member and North Korea's protector on the 15-nation panel, backed the council's "presidential statement," which was adopted unanimously.
U.N. diplomats said the council's relatively quick agreement on a declaration condemning Pyongyang signalled Beijing's irritation with its hermit neighbour over a satellite launch last week that North Korea had been widely urged not to carry out.
"The Security Council strongly condemns the 13 April 2012 (local time) launch by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)," the statement said.
"The Security Council demands that the DPRK (North Korea) not proceed with any further launches using ballistic missile technology and comply with (Security Council) resolutions ... by suspending all activities related to its ballistic missile program," it said.
The council declaration also demands that North Korea "abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner ... and not conduct any further launches that use ballistic missile technology, nuclear tests or any further provocation."
It concludes with a warning to Pyongyang that the council is prepared to take further steps if necessary.
"The Security Council expresses its determination to take action accordingly in the event of a further DPRK launch or nuclear test," it said. Continued...