Japan and South Korea warn Pyongyang against rocket launch
Feb 3, Tokoyo: Japan and South Korea have warned North Korea that it could pay a hefty price if it goes ahead with the rocket launch which will put an earth observation satellite into orbit as it would be a direct breach of UN resolutions and a direct challenge to the international community.
The Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday, condemned the plans and called it a “serious provocation” and clear violation of Pyongyang’s international obligations. Similarly,Japan’s Defense Minister Gen Nakatani ordered ballistic missile defense units, including Aegis destroyers in the Sea of Japan and Patriot missile batteries onshore, to be ready to shoot down any North Korean rocket that threatened Japan.
The warnings came a day after North Korea announced a 8-25 February window for the rocket launch, which aims at putting an Earth observation satellite into orbit. In formal notifications sent to three UN agencies, including the International Maritime Organization (IMO), North Korea said that the launch would take place in the morning with a daily window of 7:00am-midday Pyongyang time (2230-0330 GMT).
According to Daniel Russel, the assistant US secretary of state for Asia-Pacific affairs this is yet another egregious violation” of UN resolutions.“This argues even more strongly for action by the UN Security Council and the international community to impose... tough additional sanctions,” he said.
Similarly, the South Korean government in a statement issued today urged Pyongyang to call off the launch immediately or pay a “heavy price” for threatening regional peace and stability.
The Oslo Times