north korea missile.
(photo credit: AP)
The US and its allies sought punishment Sunday for North Korea's defiant launch of a rocket that apparently fizzled into the Pacific, holding an emergency UN meeting in response to the "provocative act" that some believe was a long-range missile test.
President Barack Obama, faced with his first global security crisis, called for an international response and condemned North Korea for threatening the peace and stability of nations "near and far." Minutes after liftoff, Japan requested the emergency Security Council session in New York.
US and South Korean officials claim the entire rocket, including whatever payload it carried, ended up in the ocean but many world leaders fear the launch indicates the capacity to fire a long-range missile. Pyongyang claims it launched an experimental communications satellite into orbit Sunday and that it is transmitting data and patriotic songs.
Council members met for three hours, seeking above all a unified response, but broke up for the night without issuing even a customary preliminary statement of condemnation. Diplomats privy to the closed-door talks say China, Russia, Libya and Vietnam were concerned about further alienating and destabilizing North Korea.