Security Council Deplores NK Rocket Launch

By: CBS/AP (Posted by Melissa Brunner)
By: CBS/AP (Posted by Melissa Brunner)
The U.N. Security Council deplored North Korea

Extra images of the UNHA III rocket on it's launch pad in Tang Chung Ri, North Korea

(CBS/AP) UNITED NATIONS - The U.N. Security Council has scheduled a vote on a resolution authorizing the deployment of the first wave of U.N. military observers to monitor a cease-fire between the Syrian government and opposition fighters.

U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice, the current council president, said the council would vote on Saturday.

Council members met behind closed door for several hours Friday to discuss rival drafts by the U.S. and its European allies and by Russia, Syria's most important council ally.

The U.N. Security Council deplored North Korea's rocket launch on Friday, saying it violates two council resolutions but stopped short of imposing any new sanctions against the reclusive Asian nation.

CBS News Foreign Affairs Analyst Pamela Falk notes that the inaction by the Security Council after a full-day of consultations delays :the much-needed monitoring of the fragile peace in Syria."

The U.N.'s most powerful body said in a brief press statement after a closed meeting that members agreed to continue consultations "on an appropriate response in accordance with its responsibilities given the urgency of the matter."

U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice, the current council president who read the statement, refused to speculate on what action the Council might take.

The council imposed sanctions against North Korea after its first nuclear test in 2006 and stepped up sanctions after its second test in 2009.

North Korea's attempt to launch a satellite ended in failure Friday when the rocket disintegrated over the Yellow Sea. Western nations have said the launch was a cover for the testing of a long-range missile, and worries remain about North Korea's nuclear program amid reports that it may be planning another atomic test soon.

Speaking on behalf of the United States, Rice said, "We think it is important that the council respond credibly, and we will be working in that direction."

Rice said the Security Council was briefed on the failure of North Korea's effort to launch a rocket by Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Oscar Fernandez-Taranco.

She said Fernandez-Taranco cited Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's statement that the launch "is in direct violation" of Security Council sanctions "and threatens regional stability."

"Ambassador Rice made the point that the U.S. sees it as a violation of previous Resolutions, the White House has cut off the food aid, and the Secretary General said he deplored the action, but China appears to resisting any statement that would increase tension, according to diplomats in the Security Council meeting," CBS News foreign affairs analyst Pamela Falk reported.

Ban, a former South Korean foreign minister, called the launch "deplorable as it defies the firm and unanimous stance of the international community" and urged North Korea "not to undertake any further provocative actions that will heighten tension in the region," U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said.

Ban renewed his call to North Korean authorities "to work towards building confidence with neighboring countries and improving the life of its people" and reaffirmed his commitment to working for peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and help the people of the North, "in particular by addressing the serious food and nutrition needs of the most vulnerable," Nesirky said.

© 2012 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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