Ban regrets DPR Korea rocket launch, calls for dialogue

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

4 May 2009 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today expressed his regret that the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK) has, against strong international appeals, proceeded with its planned rocket launch, urging the resumption of diplomatic talks.

According to media reports, the East Asian nation carried out its launch this morning, and the Security Council held an emergency meeting today, at Japan's request, on the issue.

“Given the volatility in the region, as well as a stalemate in interaction among the concerned parties, such a launch is not conducive to efforts to promote dialogue, regional peace and stability,” Mr. Ban said in a statement issued by his spokesperson.

He urged the DPRK to comply with Security Council resolutions, such as resolution 1718, which demanded that the country “not conduct any further nuclear test or launch of a ballistic missile,” following its claims to have conducted a nuclear test in October 2006.

The Secretary-General also appealed to all concerned countries to “focus on ways to build confidence and restore dialogue, including the early resumption of the Six-Party Talks,” referring to the discussions involving DPRK, Republic of Korea, Japan, China, Russia and the United States.

During today's closed-door meeting to address the “serious” situation, Security Council members agreed to “consultations on the appropriate reaction by the Council in accordance with its responsibilities given the urgency of the matter,” said Ambassador Claude Heller of Mexico, which holds the 15-member body's rotating presidency this month.

Consultations are expected to continue, and Mr. Heller noted that among members, there is a “consensus saying that the Security Council regretted that the Government of the DPRK disregarded the calls by the international community to suspend” its launch.


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