The United Nations Security Council on Friday condemned North Korea for its rocket launch, saying the action flew in the face of two previous resolutions that slapped sanctions on the isolated nation.
In a brief statement, Security Council President Susan Rice said the group would continue its consultations on “an appropriate response, in accordance with its responsibilities, given the urgency of the matter.”
Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., refused to say whether North Korea might face more sanctions, calling it “premature ... to predict or characterize the form of the reaction.”
The failed North Korean launch, which Pyongyang said was an attempt to send a weather satellite into orbit, was deplored around the globe. The launch was widely believed to be a cover for testing its ballistic missile technology. The Unha-3 rocket reportedly broke up just a minute after liftoff.
The launch “defies the firm and unanimous stance of the international community” and “threatens regional stability,” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Friday in Geneva.
The White House called the launch a “provocation” and a waste of money. “North Korea's long-standing development of missiles and pursuit of nuclear weapons have not brought it security –- and never will,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney wrote in a statement late Thursday.
In the past, North Korea has carried out nuclear tests not long after its rocket launches, stoking fears that the country may do so again. South Korean intelligence officials have reported spotting evidence of the North Koreans gearing up for another nuclear test at the same site it has used before.
-- Emily Alpert in Los Angeles