EU Says North Korea Missile Lunch Would be 'Provocative Act'


EU foreign ministers said Monday that a planned missile launch by North Korea would be a "provocative act" in breach of U.N. resolutions and require an international response.

They said North Korea's plan to launch a satellite would in effect be a ballistic missile test and break U.N. resolutions against Pyongyang developing such technology given its nuclear weapons drive.

A launch would directly contravene "the international community's unified call not to conduct such launches," a statement said after a day-long foreign ministers meeting in Brussels.

"The EU would consider such a launch a provocative act, jeopardizing diplomatic efforts in the pursuit of lasting peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and the broader region," it said.

"It would merit a clear international response, in conjunction with U.N. Security Council deliberations, including possible restrictive measures," it added, without specifying what measures might be taken.

The EU called on North Korea not to conduct the launch and to re-engage with the international community.

North Korea, which had set the launch for December 10-22, on Monday extended the timetable by one week due to technical problems but stressed it was pushing on with the mission in the face of international condemnation.

Many countries, led by United States and its key Asian allies South Korea and Japan, have condemned the planned launch as a disguised ballistic missile test that violates U.N. resolutions passed after Pyongyang's two nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009.

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