EU condemns N. Korea's 'dangerous' rocket launch

AFP, Friday 13 Apr 2012

European foreign policy chief expresses concern over North Korea's 'dangerous and destabilising' attempted rocket launch

anti-North Korean civic groups burn a defaced portrait of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un at a protest against North Korea's rocket launch in Seoul April 13, 2012. (Photo: Reuters)

The EU branded North Korea's failed attempt Friday to launch a rocket into orbit as a "dangerous and destabilising" action that breached a UN Security Council resolution.

"I am deeply concerned about the dangerous and destabilising actions undertaken by the DPRK (North Korea) today. Regardless of its stated purpose, today's attempted launch is a clear violation of the

DPRK's international obligations as set out in particular under UN Security Council Resolution 1874," EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said in a statement.

North Korea admitted Friday its long-range rocket launch had failed, disintegrating mid-air and plunging into the sea soon after takeoff in a major embarrassment for the reclusive state.

Ashton called on Pyongyang to abide by its obligations under UN Security Council resolutions and the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and its commitments to denuclearisation within the framework of six-party talks.

"I also urge (North Korea) to refrain from any action that could further increase regional tensions," she said.

"The EU is ready to continue working with its international partners, with a view to contributing to the pursuit of lasting peace and stability on the Korean peninsula."

In a related development, North Korea has placed troops on heightened vigilance, the South's defence chief said Friday as the failed rocket launch drew international condemnation.

"North Korean (troops) were placed on heightened vigilance," Defence Minister Kim Kwan-Jin told a parliamentary committee, according to his office.

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