International

U.N. Condemns N. Korea Launch Attempt

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un waves from a balcony at the end of a mass military parade in Pyongyang's Kim Il Sung Square. Sunday, April 15, 2012. AP Photo/David Guttenfelder) i i

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un waves from a balcony at the end of a mass military parade in Pyongyang's Kim Il Sung Square. Sunday, April 15, 2012. AP Photo/David Guttenfelder) David Guttenfelder/Associated Press hide caption

itoggle caption David Guttenfelder/Associated Press
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un waves from a balcony at the end of a mass military parade in Pyongyang's Kim Il Sung Square. Sunday, April 15, 2012. AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un waves from a balcony at the end of a mass military parade in Pyongyang's Kim Il Sung Square. Sunday, April 15, 2012. AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

David Guttenfelder/Associated Press

The United Nations Security Council today strongly condemned North Korea's failed attempt last week to launch a satellite into orbit, saying it has caused "grave security concerns".

Pyongyang admitted last week that its Unha-3 rocket disintegrated shortly after leaving the pad and that the rocket, as well as its satellite payload, was lost.

But most experts equate an orbital launch capability with the ability to launch long-range ballistic missiles, and the move to put up a satellite has been widely viewed as provocative in the West.

The resolution passed by the Security Council calls on North Korea to:

"... abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner; immediately cease all related activities; and not conduct any further launches that use ballistic missile technology, nuclear tests or any further provocation."

Pyongyang has been under added scrutiny in recent months since Kim Jong-un succeeded his father to the country's top post.

In a 20-minute speech on Sunday, Kim, who is in his 20s, promised to continue the policies of his father, Kim Jong-il.

In addition to the satellite launch attempt, Pyongyang has promised another nuclear test.

In his speech, Kim said "the days of enemies threatening and blackmailing us with nuclear weapons are forever over."

UPDATE at 12:30p.m. EST:

NPR's Jackie Northam reports that Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., says the Security Council's resolution was meant as a direct warning to Pyongyang not to take any more provocative actions, such as an underground nuclear test.

"The statement that we adopted today was very clear, that were there to be further launches or a future nuclear test, the council is determined to take action accordingly," Rice says

She says the Council is asking its sanctions committee to consider placing more North Korean companies and individuals on its blacklist.

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