Sunday, April 5

North Korea Launches Rocket

President Obama called for North Korea to be punished after the isolated communist state fired an intercontinental rocket today, defying weeks of warnings from world leaders and provoking anxiety across north-east Asia.

The UN Security Council will meet in emergency session in New York this afternoon after a demand for action from governments across the world, including the US, Britain, France and above all Japan, over whose territory the rocket flew. It is unlikely that Russia and China will agree to new sanctions because the projectile appears to have been the vehicle for a satellite, rather than an intercontinental ballistic missile.

"This provocation underscores the need for action, not just this afternoon at the UN Security Council, but in our determination to prevent the spread of these weapons,” Mr Obama said in a speech in the Czech capital, Prague, calling for efforts towards nuclear disarmament.

“Rules must be binding, violations must be punished, words must mean something. The world must stand together to prevent the spread of these weapons. Now is the time for a strong international response.”

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