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North Korea missile launch condemned


“With this provocative act, North Korea has ignored its international obligations, rejected unequivocal calls for restraint and further isolated itself from the community of nations,” said Mr Obama.

But the Pentagon rejected the claims, saying North Korea had failed to send a satellite into orbit, and that the rocket and its payload fell into the Pacific Ocean.

The UN passed resolution 1718, which includes a ban on ballistic missile activity, in 2006, five days after North Korea conducted a nuclear test, and months after it fired a long-range Taepodong-2 missile without warning.

North Korea insists that it has the right to put a satellite into orbit under the UN Outer Space Treaty. But the US and its Asian allies say the rocket launch was a smokescreen to test long-range missile technology.

But any new sanctions could face opposition or even a veto in the council by China and Russia.

Mr Obama, who arrived in Turkey on Sunday for the final leg of his eight-day tour, said he would work towards the elimination of nuclear weapons and move “immediately and aggressively” to persuade the US Senate to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

The US recently halted food aid shipments to North Korea after Pyongyang reneged on the terms of an agreement that would have seen the state receive 500,000 metric tonnes.

A successful launch would also have helped North Korea raise much needed hard currency because Iran and Syria are traditional markets for its ballistics. The only other test of a Taepodong-2 weapon, in 2006, was a failure and the fuselage disintegrated seconds after take-off.

North Korea has said the two women will be tried for committing ”hostile acts”, in what would be the first trial of US citizens inside the hermit state.

unequivocal 明白な,率直な

restraint 抑制(すること), 制止

payload ロケット・宇宙船に搭載される乗員・計器類など; その荷重

ballistic 弾道(学)の; 飛行物体の

smokescreen (真の意図などを隠すための)偽装,煙幕,カムフラージュ

veto (特に国際政治面での)拒否権

ratify 〈条約などを〉批准する,裁可する.

renege 〔約束・契約などを〕破る

fuselage (飛行機の)胴体

hermit 隠者,世捨て人

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