Security Council Set to Review N. Korea Rocket Launch

A South Korean official inspects part of the long-range North Korean rocket launched on Dec. 12. The U.N. Security Council is expected within a matter of days to consider its response to the launch, which it has already condemned as a violation of international prohibitions against ballistic missile activities by the North (AP Photo/South Korea Defense Ministry) EDITORIAL USE ONLY
A South Korean official inspects part of the long-range North Korean rocket launched on Dec. 12. The U.N. Security Council is expected within a matter of days to consider its response to the launch, which it has already condemned as a violation of international prohibitions against ballistic missile activities by the North (AP Photo/South Korea Defense Ministry) EDITORIAL USE ONLY

The U.N. Security Council is expected within days to renew discussion of how to handle North Korea's firing last month of a long-range space rocket -- an action said to violate international restrictions against the aspiring nuclear power's use of ballistic missile technology, United Press International reported.

An anonymous South Korean official told the Yonhap News Agency that "Security Council negotiations are likely to start early next week, although no date for the talks has been set." The 15--nation council met just hours after the Dec. 12 launch but took no action against Pyongyang.

North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un in a rare televised New Year's speech adopted a conciliatory tone and said the time was over for confrontations with longtime foe South Korea. Kim's remarks, though, were largely met with skepticism by international observers. South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin on Wednesday said Seoul must remain on alert for North Korean provocations that could include further atomic tests and missile launches.

Pyongyang "has made consistent preparations for a nuclear test and can carry one out at any time if it chooses," the Korea Herald quoted the defense chief as saying. Should the Security Council decide to punish Pyongyang with heightened sanctions, it might respond with a third underground nuclear blast, he speculated.

South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan said Seoul should work in 2013 to encourage Pyongyang to "make right and wise decisions" through continued policy alignment with other regional nations, the Korea Times reported.

Meanwhile, the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday approved a nonbinding resolution that condemns North Korea's space launch and calls on China and other nations to "immediately impose sanctions" on the Stalinist state, Yonhap reported.

January 3, 2013
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The U.N. Security Council is expected within days to renew discussion of how to handle North Korea's firing last month of a long-range space rocket -- an action said to violate international restrictions against the aspiring nuclear power's use of ballistic missile technology, United Press International reported.

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