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NATO condemns NKorea over rocket launch

world Updated: Apr 09, 2009 08:12 IST
AFP
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NATO nations have condemned North Korea's rocket launch as another step in the communist state's efforts to develop long range missiles and urged it to abandon its programme.

"This launch is yet another step in the development of a North Korean long-range intercontinental ballistic missile," NATO ambassadors said in a statement after a meeting at alliance headquarters in Brussels, on Wednesday.

"These irresponsible and provocative actions by Pyongyang pose a serious threat to the region and the international community at large," they said.

NATO "urges North Korea to abandon all ballistic missile programmes, to fully implement all relevant UN Security Council Resolutions and to eliminate its nuclear weapons and related programmes in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner."

The North says its rocket, which was launched Sunday, put into orbit a communications satellite which is beaming back patriotic songs.

South Korea, Japan and the US military say there is no sign of the object in space and that the launch was in any case a disguised long-range missile test in violation of UN resolutions. The United States and its allies are seeking a strong UN response to the launch but the Security Council is struggling to agree on what action to take.

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