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UN Security Council to meet Friday after N.Korea launch

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) - The UN Security Council will meet in emergency session on Friday to discuss the situation in North Korea after Pyongyang launched a long-range rocket, a UN diplomat said Thursday.

The diplomat told AFP the 15-member Council would meet "to decide its next step" following the launch, which the United States and several other nations have claimed is in fact a disguised missile test.

Russia's envoy to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, earlier said that all Council members agreed that a launch would be a "violation" of UN sanctions resolutions imposed in 2009 after Pyongyang's last nuclear test.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle quickly condemned the launch, telling AFP it was a "violation of international obligations and will increase tensions on the Korean peninsula."

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday warned North Korea that if it were to go ahead with the launch, "we will all be back in the Security Council to take further action."

Clinton said the rocket would violate UN Security Council resolutions banning the communist state from ballistic missile activity.

"There is no doubt that this (launch) would use ballistic missile technology," she said.

UN Security Council resolutions 1718 and 1874 condemned and imposed sanctions over previous North Korea rocket launches and nuclear tests.

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