US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday urged nuclear-armed North Korea not to go ahead with its planned rocket launch if it wants a “peaceful, better future” for its people.
“We are consulting closely in capitals and at the United Nations in New York and we will be pursuing appropriate action,” Clinton said at a press conference with Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba, who echoed her remarks.
“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,” the chief US diplomat said.
Gemba spoke of US-Japanese cooperation if North Korea goes ahead with the launch of a rocket it says will put a satellite into orbit — an event that most of the rest of the world sees as a disguised missile test.
Both top diplomats reiterated that the launch would violate UN Security Council resolutions 1718 and 1874, which ban ballistic missile activity.
On April 5, 2009, North Korea launched a long-range rocket which flew over Japan and landed in the Pacific in what it says was an attempt to put a satellite into orbit.
US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland earlier voiced concern that the international news media might be “playing” into North Korean propaganda by covering the rocket launch.