The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations says the world body stands
ready to take further action against North Korea if that country
continues to pursue missile launches or nuclear tests.
Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Susan Rice said the United Nations'
recent statement condemning North Korea's failed missile launch attempt
is a "strong and united determination" that further acts will not be
"One would hope against past precedent that the leadership in North
Korea will see the wisdom of not pursuing further provocations and will
recognize that the history of their pursuit of these further
provocations is North Korea’s increasing isolation and increasing
pressure from the international community," Rice said.
Her comments follow an announcement by the International Atomic Energy
Agency that it is unlikely to send a delegation to North Korea, after
Pyongyang stated it is no longer bound by an agreement with the United
States not to test missiles and nuclear devices.
On Tuesday, Pyongyang said it was breaking off a bilateral agreement to
halt its nuclear activities and allow IAEA inspectors to enter the
country after the United States suspended much needed food aid. Rice
reiterated that the suspension of food aid was a direct result of North
Korea carrying out its failed launch on Friday, thus violating the
"They went ahead and launched the missiles, and so we made clear that
there will be no food aid and that from a practical point of view that
agreement is not operational since they went ahead and violated it and
announced that they intended to violate it merely a few weeks after it
was signed," she said.
North Korea's Foreign Ministry vowed to continue trying to fire a
long-range rocket into space to place what it said was a weather
satellite into orbit. It also vowed unspecified retaliation now that the
agreement with the U.S. is no longer in place.
Former CIA Director Michael Hayden said he is concerned the country's
new leader, Kim Jong Un, may feel pressured to solidify his power with
an additional provocative act.
have seen this pattern in the past - where they have a missile launch,
the rest of the world has responded, and rather than compromise and
negotiate, the North has taken another provocative action. And in two
instances, the provocative action has been an attempt at a nuclear test.
So I fear that this is the course of action they may be on," Mayden
North Korea on Tuesday rejected the U.N. Security Council's condemnation
of the failed launch. The council ordered a tightening of sanctions
aimed at preventing North Korea from developing and exporting nuclear
and missile technology.
North Korea insists it was within its legal rights when it launched the
rocket last week. The rocket broke apart and fell into the Yellow Sea.
The launch prompted criticism from the United Nations, long-time North
Korean ally China, the United States, Japan, and the European Union.
Critics accused the North of using the satellite scenario as a cover for
testing ballistic missile technology banned under United Nations