The United Nations Security Council will hold an emergency meeting today in New York over North Korea’s launch of a long-range rocket, diplomats said.
The closed-door talks were requested by South Korea as well as council members Japan and the United States, which have both denounced the launch as a violation of UN Security Council resolutions.
Tokyo and Washington called the consultations over the launch of a “so-called ‘satellite’ by North Korea in violation of relevant Security Council resolutions,” in a letter to the Venezuela mission currently holding the council presidency.
The resolutions bar Pyongyang from any ballistic missile or nuclear activity.
The unpredictable hermit state made good on its threat to launch a satellite-bearing rocket, despite US and South Korean warnings, the South Korean military confirmed.
The launch took place as the international community was still struggling to reach consensus on how to respond to Pyongyang’s detonation of what it claimed was a powerful thermonuclear bomb on January 6.
The White House and its allies want to respond with a UN resolution that would slap more sanctions on the North.
But they must first win the backing of UN veto power China, which has in the past shielded its neighbor and close ally.
The North is already subject to numerous UN sanctions over previous rocket launches and three nuclear tests in 2006, 2009 and 2013.