A week after North Korea's rocket launch, the UN Security Council today condemned the action, demanding an end to missile tests and vowing to expand sanctions against the reclusive nation. The statement, agreed upon by all 15 members and read at a formal meeting of the UN's most powerful body, said the launch violated a council resolution adopted after the North conducted a nuclear test explosion in 2006 that banned any missile tests by the country.
The statement was a weaker response than a UN resolution, which was sought by Japan and the US but opposed by China and Russia. US Ambassador Susan Rice insisted the statement is legally binding, like a resolution, but other officials disagreed. North Korea warned earlier that any move to censure it at the UN could prompt its withdrawal from negotiations on dismantling its nuclear weapons program. The North's talks with the US, China, Japan, South Korea, and Russia are currently stalled.