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UN Security Council to meet on DPRK's rocket launch

(Xinhua)

11:06, April 13, 2012

UNITED NATIONS, April 12 (Xinhua) -- The UN Security Council is scheduled to meet in an emergency session on Friday morning in response to the alleged rocket launch by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), diplomats said here late Thursday.

The 15-nation UN body is expected to meet behind closed doors at 10 a.m. EST (1500 GMT) on Friday, the diplomats said.

The UN Spokesperson Office confirmed the upcoming closed council meeting with the Friday program of the Security Council, which was issued here Thursday night.

The Security Council is to held closed meeting at 10 a.m. EST on Friday on the issue of non-proliferation in connection with the DPRK, according to the program.

The DPRK fired a long-range rocket on Friday morning, but the launch appears to have ended in failure, reports said.

So far, the DPRK has neither confirmed nor denied the launch.

The U.S. UN mission, which holds the rotating Security Council presidency for April, is working on a presidential statement with its intention to get it approved by the council on Friday in a bid to condemn the rocket launch by Pyongyang, diplomats said.

A presidential statement, which is adopted by consensus, does not carry the weight of a Security Council resolution, which requires nine votes in favor to pass, with no vetoes from any of the five permanent council members -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.

The DPRK announced last month its decision to launch the rocket between April 12 and 16 to mark the 100th birthday of late DPRK founder Kim Il Sung.

Seoul and Washington, among others, see it as a disguised long-range ballistic missile test that violates a UN Security Council resolution.

On Tuesday, Susan Rice, the U.S. UN ambassador, said, "It is clear that any launch by North Korea using ballistic missile technology, which is what it is, will be a blatant violation of Security Council resolution 1718 and 1874."

Under relevant Security Council resolutions, the DPRK is prohibited from conducting launches that use ballistic missile technology.

Also on Tuesday, an official from the Korean Committee for Space Technology said in Pyongyang that the scheduled launch of a satellite by the DPRK will not harm the region and neighboring countries.

Speaking at a press conference attended by foreign reporters, Ryu Gum Chol, deputy director of the Committee's space development department, said the first two stages of the rocket, which will carry the satellite, will be dropped in the designated orbits.

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