The United States will “pursue appropriate action” over North Korea’s planned rocket launch, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said after talks with her Japanese counterpart.
On Tuesday, North Korean specialists were to place the Kwangmyongsong-3 (Bright Star-3) satellite on top of its launch vehicle. The satellite launch is timed to coincide with what would have been the 100th birthday of the country’s first leader Kim Il Sung.
Japan and South Korea see the launch as a covert ballistic missile test. Pyongyang, however, maintains that the country acts in compliance with the Space Treaty, which guarantees every state the right to carry out space programs.
Clinton said that any launch by North Korea would be a “serious, clear violation” of the UN Security Council resolutions 1718 and 1874, which impose a set of sanctions on the Communist state, including a ban on obtaining ballistic missile technology.
“We are consulting closely in capitals and at the United Nations in New York, and we will be pursuing appropriate action,” the U.S. top diplomat said. “If North Korea wants a peaceful, better future for their people, it should not conduct another launch that would be a direct threat to regional security.”
She said that North Korea’s planned launch dominated her talks with Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba.
“We covered a number of regional and global issues, but spent most of our time on North Korea’s planned missile launch,” Clinton said. “Our two governments will continue to closely coordinate, consult, and cooperate as this situation develops.”
Gemba also vowed “appropriate action.” Neither he, nor Clinton specified what they saw as “appropriate."
“Should DPRK goes ahead and launch it, that would obviously be a violation of the UN Security Council resolutions,” the Japanese minister said. “The international security, including the Security Council, should take appropriate actions, and that is something that we also agreed upon.”