A rocket launched on Sunday by North Korea – described as an observation satellite but feared by the international community to be a ballistic missile – caused an immediate UN Security Council meeting and put North Korea’s traditional supporters in a difficult spot.
All fifteen council members backed a statement saying that the long-range rocket deployment “contributes to the DPRK’s (North Korea’s) development of nuclear weapon delivery systems and is a serious violation of four Security Council resolutions.” They reaffirmed that: “a clear threat to international peace and security continued to exist, especially in the context of the nuclear test.”
This could be the second time in a month in which the Asian communist country has allegedly disobeyed the UN prohibition of nuclear and ballistic missile activity, after North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un claimed in January to have tested a hydrogen bomb. A few hours after the rocket’s takeoff on Sunday morning, watched in Pyongyang through a giant public screen, the country declared it would “continue to launch more man-made satellites.”
Every new defiance by North Korea’s government forces its neighbours to take a stance and give a response. While South Korea’s allies – the US and Japan – have a clear posture against any North Korean attempt to develop a nuclear capacity, countries traditionally allied to North Korea – China and Russia – find it difficult to tolerate Kim Jong Un.