Tokyo: Japan’s prime minister Taro Aso signalled on Monday that a North Korean rocket launch, even one carrying a satellite, would lead to UN Security Council sanctions against the communist state.
North Korea has said it is preparing to fire a rocket for what it calls a satellite launch, although the United States and South Korea say its purpose is to test a missile that could theoretically reach Alaska.
Aso said if the North goes ahead with a launch, “in any case, it will be discussed at the UN Security Council,” local media reported.
The premier made the remark after his Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone said in Beijing at the weekend that any rocket launch by Pyongyang would violate a UN Security Council resolution.
In 2006, the UN body imposed sanctions on North Korea for a similar missile test that Pyongyang had insisted was a satellite launch.
South Korea’s Yonhap news agency earlier said a launch may come in late March or early April, as a US-South Korean military exercise is scheduled for March 9-20 and a US-South Korea summit is set to take place on the sidelines of the 2 April G20 meeting in London.