Britain’s foreign office has condemned North Korea’s test of a long-range rocket. Despite international warnings and UN resolutions, Pyongyang carried out the launch on Sunday, displaying its ballistic missile technology. The launch comes a month after the state carried out the first test of a hydrogen bomb, though international experts remain undecided as to the nature of the explosion.
In a statement on Sunday, a Foreign Office spokeswoman said: "We strongly condemn North Korea's missile launch. North Korea is fully aware that multiple UN Security Council Resolutions prohibit the use of ballistic missile technology.”
“We will work with allies and partners to ensure there is a robust response if the DPRK persists in violating these resolutions," the statement added. "We will also emphasise to North Korea through diplomatic channels that such actions will only serve to isolate the country further."
The US military said on Sunday the missile had entered space. South Korea confirmed the rocket had put an object into orbit. North Korea had notified international agencies that it would be launching a rocket carrying an Earth observation satellite.
"This is the second time in just over a month that the DPRK has chosen to conduct a major provocation, threatening not only the security of the Korean peninsula, but that of the region and the United States as well," US Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement.
The governments of South Korea and Japan also condemned the test. Park Geun-hye, South Korea’s president, called the launch an "intolerable provocation," suggesting the test was entirely about the leadership of North Korean dictator Kim Jonh-un.
Her Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe said, "we absolutely cannot allow this," noting that the rocket flight was visible from the island of Okinawa. “We will take action to totally protect the safety and well-being of our people," he added.
The UN Security Council will meet on Sunday to discuss the launch. According to PA, the rocket was launched from the west coast of the hermetic state at around 9.30am local time on a trajectory over the East China Sea.
Pyongyang confirmed later on Sunday that the rocket had delivered a satellite into orbit. In a statement read on the state-run channel North Korean TV, the presenter said Kim had ordered the launch.