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Published On: Wed, Dec 12th, 2012

North Korean missile test launches new rhetoric of nuclear risks in the Pacific

In Washington, Seoul and Tokyo, leaders pushed for consequences for the successful rocket launch in North Korea, widely seen as a test that takes the country one step closer to being capable of lobbing nuclear bombs over the Pacific.

A screen image released by the Korean Central News Agency believed to show the Unha-3 rocket lifting off in North Korea.

The successful rocket launch raises the stakes in the international standoff over North Korea’s expanding atomic arsenal. As Pyongyang refines its technology, its next step may be conducting its third nuclear test, experts warn.

The UN Security Council, which has punished North Korea repeatedly for developing its nuclear program, condemned the launch after a closed-door meeting on Wednesday and said it will urgently consider “an appropriate response.”

The White House called the launch a “highly provocative act that threatens regional security,” and even the North’s most important ally, China, expressed concerns.
“Initial indications are that the missile deployed an object that appeared to achieve orbit,” NORAD said. “At no time was the missile or the resultant debris a threat to North America.”

The Korean Central News Agency, North Korea’s official news organization, said the rocket launched an earth observation satellite into orbit. The country’s four previous attempts with multiple-stage rockets have all either exploded in midair or been unable to actually put a satellite into orbit.

Wednesday’s launch violates United Nations sanctions against North Korea, and is likely to spur further punishment from the international body.

“The United States remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations and fully committed to the security of our allies in the region,” National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said in a statement.

“Given this current threat to regional security, the United States will strengthen and increase our close coordination with allies and partners.”

Mr Vietor said the international community must “send a clear message that its violations of UN Security Council resolutions have consequences.”

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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