The UN Security Council on Monday strongly condemned North Korea’s rocket launch last week, calling it a serious violation of UN resolutions.
“The Security Council deplores that such a launch has caused grave security concerns in the region,” the Security Council said in a presidential statement.
The Unha-3 rocket - which the North said would put a satellite into orbit - was launched from the country’s northwest early on Friday. The launch was timed to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of the nation's late founding leader Kim Il-sung.
North Korea ignored calls to cancel the launch, which the United States claimed was cover for a ballistic missile test banned under UN resolutions. The United States, South Korea, Japan and other countries observing the launch said the rocket crashed into the Yellow Sea shortly after blastoff.
The Security Council demanded that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) - the country’s official name - refrain from any further launches using ballistic missile technology and suspend all activities linked to its ballistic missile program.
Ambassador Susan Rice of the United States, which holds the Council’s presidency in April, told journalists the statement also provides for new sanctions.
“The Security Council directed its North Korea Sanctions Committee to designate additional North Korean entities, including companies, to be subject to an asset freeze, as well as to identify additional proliferation-sensitive technology to be banned for transfer to or from North Korea,” Rice said.
“The Committee will also take several other actions to improve enforcement of existing sanctions,” she said.
“The Security Council expresses its determination to take action accordingly in the event of a further DPRK launch or nuclear test,” the statement said.
Pyongyang agreed in February to suspend its nuclear activities as well as long-range missile tests in return for 240,000 tons of U.S. food aid.
But Washington said last month it was putting the deal on hold after the North announced its launch plans.