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Five powers, Japan to continue consultations on DPRK launch

FIVE permanent members of the UN Security Council, and Japan, a nonpermanent council member, will continue closed-door consultations on the reportedly rocket launch by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), US UN Ambassador Susan Rice said yesterday.

Speaking to reporters at the end of their closed-door consultations, Rice said "our meeting is productive, and our work continues."

Also speaking to the press after their meeting, Yukio Takasu, the Japanese ambassador to the United Nations, said "we agree to meet continuously."

The five powers plus Japan met behind closed doors yesterday afternoon after Shintaro Ito, the Japanese state secretary for foreign ministers, met with representatives of some Security Council members, including China, the United States, Russian and Mexico, who holds the rotating presidency for the month of April.

"This is a serious problem for the regional security, and this is also a big test for the United Nations Security Council itself," Ito told reporters after his meeting with Mexican UN Ambassador Claude Heller.

Ito said that his country seeks a "swift adoption" of a "strong" Security Council resolution to "reinforce" the existing measures in the Resolution 1718, adopted by the Security Council in October 2006.

"If we don't do swift action against the violations, the existence of the Security Council becomes doubtful," he said, alleging that the DPRK launch violates Resolution 1718.

In 2006, "it took 10 days to adopt a resolution. Today it is the ninth of April. I will stay as long as it takes," he said. "We want close coordination to solve this problem."

The Security Council held an emergency session on Sunday afternoon at the request of Japan, it ended up with no collective response to the launch action by the DPRK, but members of the 15-nation council agreed to continue their consultations on the issue.

On Tuesday, Pak Tok Hun, the deputy permanent representative of the DPRK Mission to the United Nations, said "every country has an inalienable right to use the outer space peacefully. Many countries have already launched satellites several hundred times. Does it mean it will be Okay for them? We're not allowed to do that, that is not fair."

"This is a satellite, everyone can distinguish satellite with missiles. It was not a missile, I know that most countries recognize that it was not a missile," the senior DPRK diplomat said.

"If the Security Council, they take any kind of steps whatever, we'll consider this is (an) infringement on our sovereignty and next option will be ours," he said. "Necessary and strong steps will ... follow that."


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