UN Powers Agree to Slam N. Korean Rocket Launch

But critics question if pact is legally binding
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 11, 2009 5:30 PM CDT
People burn a mock of North Korea's rocket and North Korean national flags during the protest against North's rocket launch on April 2, 2009 in Seoul, South Korea.   (Getty Images)
camera-icon View 7 more images

(Newser) – Key Security Council nations reached an agreement today on a statement that would condemn North Korea's rocket launch and toughen UN sanctions against it. The US, China, Russia, Britain, France and Japan approved the pact after Tokyo backed down from a demand for a new resolution, which is the strongest response the Security Council can give.

“This is a strong and legally binding outcome of the Security Council which meets all of the objectives we have," said US Ambassador Susan Rice, but her predecessor called the action weak. “A resolution is an action. A presidential statement is an opinion,” John Bolton said. Pyongyang has warned that a UN censure could prompt its withdrawal from six-party nuclear talks.