UN Split Over Response to N. Korea Rocket

Russia, China resist as US, Japan call for punishment
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Apr 6, 2009 9:47 AM CDT
At UN headquarters, American Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice speaks to reporters after Security Council consultations regarding North Korea's launch of a test missile.    (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
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(Newser) – The US and Japan have hit international resistance as they push for a firm response to yesterday’s North Korean rocket launch over Japan, the Guardian reports. As the second day of emergency UN talks begins today, China and Russia aren’t backing a proposed statement condemning the move from Pyongyang and boosting UN sanctions. China and Russia “appear reserved and cautious,” Japan’s foreign minister said this morning.

Washington, the EU, and NATO say North Korea must face punishment. But China holds that “all countries concerned should refrain from taking action that might lead to increased tension,” said its UN ambassador. Russia called the launch “regrettable,” but didn’t say whether it was a breach of current sanctions. Before taking action, “we should understand the character of this launch,” said a Russian UN representative. Right now, “we do not have a clear-cut picture.”