North Korea Threatens 'Strong Steps' if Punished

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 7, 2009 9:06 PM CDT
This image made from KRT video shows the recent launch by North Korea.   (AP Photo/KRT TV)
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(Newser) – North Korea says it will view any punishment for its recent rocket launch as a threat to its very sovereignty and will take "necessary and strong steps" in response, the BBC reports. It did not specify what those steps might be. "Every country has the inalienable right to use outer space peacefully," said the North's deputy ambassador to the UN.

He spoke as the world body debates possible sanctions against Pyongyang for attempting to launch a satellite into space—the North continues to proclaim the mission a success, while the US and others say the payload landed in the ocean. Russia and China are reluctant to punish the North, and it's possible the Security Council will have to settle for a written statement rather than a stronger resolution, the BBC notes.