North Korea rocket: International reaction

North Korea has launched its rocket, with the US confirming that an object has been put into orbit.

The launch went ahead despite warnings from its neighbours and Western nations who say it constituted a banned long-range missile test.

The following is reaction from around the world.

United Nations: Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky

The Secretary-General deplores the rocket launch announced by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea [North Korea].

It is a clear violation of Security Council resolution 1874, in which the Council demanded that the DPRK not conduct any launch using ballistic missile technology.

United States: National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor

North Korea's launch today - using ballistic missile technology despite express prohibitions by United Nations Security Council resolutions - is a highly provocative act that threatens regional security, directly violates United Nations Security Council resolutions 1718 and 1874, contravenes North Korea's international obligations, and undermines the global non-proliferation regime.

This action is yet another example of North Korea's pattern of irresponsible behavior. The United States remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations and fully committed to the security of our allies in the region.

Given this current threat to regional security, the United States will strengthen and increase our close co-ordination with allies and partners.

South Korea: Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan

North Korea ignored repeated warnings and demands by the international community that North Korea should withdraw the rocket launch.

Our government, along with the international community, strongly denounces it.

North Korea should bear grave responsibility for the launch as the UN Security Council warned with its presidential statement (on North Korea) in April.

China: Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei

We express regret at the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's [North Korea's] launch in spite of the extensive concerns of the international community.

China: Commentary carried by Xinhua news agency

Like other nations, the DPRK [North Korea] has the right to conduct peaceful exploration of the outer space.

However, Pyongyang should also abide by relevant UN Security Council resolutions, including Resolution 1874, which demands the DPRK not to conduct "any launch using ballistic missile technology" and urges it to "suspend all activities related to its ballistic missile programme".

Under the highly-charged circumstances of the moment, all parties concerned should stay cool-headed and refrain from stoking the flames so as to prevent the situation from spiralling out of control.

Japan: Chief government spokesman Osamu Fujimura

It is extremely regrettable that North Korea went through with the launch despite our calls to exercise restraint.

Our country cannot tolerate this. We strongly protest to North Korea.

Russia: Foreign Ministry spokesman

The new rocket launch carried out by North Korea flaunts the opinion of the international community, including calls from the Russian side, and leaves us with deep regret.

United Kingdom: Foreign Secretary William Hague

I strongly condemn the DPRK's [North Korea's] satellite launch today.

I deplore the fact that the DPRK has chosen to prioritise this launch over improving the livelihood of its people. We will be summoning the DPRK Ambassador to the UK to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

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