US calls North Korea plans for new long-range rocket launch 'highly provocative'
[FOXNEWS] North Korea announced Saturday that it would attempt to launch a long-range rocket in mid-December, a defiant move just eight months after a failed April bid was widely condemned as a violation of a United Nations
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ban against developing its nuclear and missile programs.
Following North Korea's announcement, the U.S. State Department echoed a similar statement it made in April calling the attempt "highly provocative."
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"A North Korean 'satellite' launch would be a highly provocative act that threatens peace and security in the region," Victoria Nuland, a State Department front man said in a statement.
"Any North Korean launch using ballistic missile technology is in direct violation of U.N. Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs) 1718 and 1874."
"The UN Security Council Presidential Statement adopted unanimously on April 16, 2012 strongly condemned North Korea's April 13 launch and expressed its determination to take action accordingly in the event of a further launch. We call on North Korea to comply fully with its obligations under all relevant UNSCRs," the statement said.
The launch, set for Dec. 10 to 22, is likely to heighten already strained tensions with Washington and Seoul as the United States prepares for Barack Obama
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's second term as U.S. president and South Korea holds its own presidential election on Dec. 19.
"Devoting scarce resources to the development of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles will only further isolate and impoverish North Korea. The path to security for North Korea lies in investing in its people and abiding by its commitments and international obligations," the State Department statement read.
Posted by: Fred 2012-12-02