NZ condemns North Korea missile launch

  • 07/02/2016
Foreign Minister Murray McCully (Lydia Anderson)
Foreign Minister Murray McCully (Lydia Anderson)

New Zealand has joined others in swift condemnation of North Korea's launch of a long-range ballistic missile.

North Korea's decision to conduct a launch, and the nuclear test they carried out on January 6, are irresponsible and fly in the face of international opinion, Foreign Minister Murray McCully says.

North Korea said its intention was to put a satellite into orbit, but the US and its allies believe it was a cover for a test of a ballistic missile that could carry a nuclear warhead.

Mr McCully said New Zealand would work with other UN Security Council members on an appropriate response to the launch.

"New Zealand again calls on North Korea to refrain from actions which undermine peace and stability in the region," he said.

The launch contravened Security Council resolutions demanding that North Korea cease any launches using ballistic missile technology, Mr McCully said.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called the launch "absolutely unacceptable", and US National Security Adviser Susan Rice condemned it.

The rocket was launched from a facility in northwestern North Korea, the South Korean news agency Yonhap reported, citing the South Korean military.