15:06 13 December 2012
North Korea defied warning from the international community and launched along-range rocket at9.49am local time, despite growing concerns from different nations.
North Korea claims that the move is to send a satellite into orbit, but the US, along with other countries, reportedly see the launch as missiles technology-testing in preparation to strike the United States.
Following the launch, South Korean and Japanese leaders held emergency meetings.
In a statement, Japan's chief government spokesman Osamu Fujimura said: “It is extremely regrettable that North Korea went through with the launch despite our calls to exercise restraint.
He added: “Our country cannot tolerate this. We strongly protest to North Korea.”
Foreign secretary William Hague also released a statement condemning North Korea’s action. “I strongly condemn the DPRK's satellite launch today. I deplore the fact that the DPRK has chosen to prioritize this launch over improving the livelihood of its people.”
It continued to read: “It is essential that the DPRK refrain from further provocative action.”
America made it clear in a statement that sending North Korea a clear message is extremely important.
White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said: “The international community must work in a concerted fashion to send North Korea a clear message that its violations of United Nations Security Council resolutions have consequences.”
Russia and the UN secretary also expressed regret and concern as it is thought by some that the launch could negatively impact prospects for security and peace in the region.
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