Russia calls North Korea's rocket launch obstacle to six-party talks
The rocket launch by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) will hinder the six-party talks, a senior Russian diplomat said Thursday.
Wednesday's launch would "affect the general atmosphere in the region and the efficiency of efforts to provide conditions for the restart of the six-party negotiations," Grigory Logvinov, the Foreign Ministry's special envoy, told the Interfax news agency.
Logvinov urged all parties to refrain from any actions that could further aggravate the situation.
Logvinov said Moscow saw no alternative to the six-party talks where Russia, China, the DPRK, the Republic of Korea, Japan and the United States meet under the auspices of the U.N. Security Council. The talks began in 2003 but stalled in December 2008.
The U.N. Security Council on Wednesday condemned the rocket launch announced by the DPRK, calling the move "a clear violation" of relevant council resolutions.
The council said it would continue consultations on an appropriate response in accordance with its responsibilities given the urgency of the matter.
Under U.N. Security Council resolutions 1718 and 1874, the DPRK is banned from launches using ballistic missile technology.
The DPRK's official KCNA news agency confirmed a Unha-3 rocket carrying the second version of the Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite blasted off from the Sohae Space Center at 9:49 a.m. local time (0049 GMT) on Wednesday.
The satellite entered its preset orbit 9 minutes and 27 seconds after the lift-off, the KCNA said.