UNITED NATIONS, February 8. /TASS/. North Korea's launch of a rocket with a satellite has caused a natural reaction of the UN Security Council that gathered for an emergency meeting on Sunday at which the Council members called for speeding up the work on a resolution imposing tougher sanctions on Pyongyang. A Western diplomat said on condition of anonymity that the United States wants the Security Council sanctions to cover not only North Korea's missile and nuclear programs. In particular, the US side proposed to introduce restrictive measures against the country's banking system.
After the Security Council meeting, Russia's Permanent Representative to the UN Vitaly Churkin said he agreed it was necessary to toughen sanctions against Pyongyang, but warned that they should not cause a collapse in the country. In addition, he said that the document should exclude an option of the DPRK nuclear issue settlement by force.
"We believe that the resolution should be worthy of the Security Council, it must be weighty, but its adoption should not lead to a humanitarian collapse in North Korea, to the country’s economic collapse. Of course, any military action for the settlement of this problem should be absolutely ruled out in it," the diplomat said after the Security Council’s emergency meeting.
Vitaly Churkin expressed regret that the authorities in Pyongyang "have taken such adventurous actions", which, according to him, harm not only North Korea's national interests, but also "are not beneficial for the region and the world." "So, unfortunately, we will have to deal with one more resolution with against North Korea," the diplomat said.
Diplomats so far prefer not to talk openly about ways to further toughen the sanctions regime against North Korea that is already unprecedented. The Russian ambassador said that "there are still thinkers who can come up with very serious sanctions." At the same time, he again warned that overly stringent measures "may have very serious humanitarian and economic consequences" and lead to "complete international isolation of North Korea." "We believe that it is unnecessary," he said.
North Korea has successfully launched a satellite into space, its state-run TV said, an action immediately condemned by the United States as "destabilizing and provocative." Carrier rocket Kwangmyongsong blasted off from the Sohae Space Center at 9 am Sunday local time, state news agency KCNA said. The Kwangmyongsong-4 satellite entered orbit nine minutes and 46 seconds after the liftoff, an operation "great leader Kim Jong Un personally ordered and directed," the TV announcer said.
According to CNN, though North Korea said the launch was for scientific and "peaceful purposes" adding it plans to launch more satellites it was viewed by other nations, such as Japan and South Korea, as a front for a ballistic missile test, especially coming on the heels of North Korea's purported hydrogen bomb test last month.