S.Korea, China, Japan Want Firm Response to N.Korean Rocket Launch

      April 09, 2012 10:46

      Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan on Sunday called for a "firm response" from the international community if North Korea goes ahead with the launch of what it claims is a space rocket.

      "North Korea's missile launch will be a clear violation of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. We made it clear to China and Japan that the international community needs to respond firmly to North Korea's breach of its responsibility as a member of the international community."

      Kim's remark came during a joint press conference after a three-way foreign ministerial meeting in Ningbo, China on Saturday and Sunday.

      China's Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi (center), Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba (right) and South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan pose for a photo before the start of the 6th Trilateral Foreign Ministers Meeting in the eastern Chinese city of Ningbo on Sunday. /AP-Newsis

      Foreign Ministry spokesman Cho Byung-jae quoted Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said during a bilateral meeting with Kim, "If North Korea launches the rocket, we should maintain close communication lines between South Korea and China in Seoul, Beijing, and the UN."

      A South Korean Foreign Ministry official said Yang's statement reflects China's willingness to discuss the issue in the UN Security Council if the launch goes ahead.

      But given Beijing's close ties with Pyongyang, it remains to be seen whether China will keep its vows. A South Korean Foreign Ministry official predicted that the response will depend on how successful the launch is.

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