More sanctions likely after N Korea launches missile

North Korea successfully launched a rocket on Wednesday, boosting the credentials of its new leader Kim Jong Un and stepping up the threat the isolated and impoverished state poses to opponents.

The UN Security Council met to discuss launch, a move Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned as a "provocative act" in breach of resolutions banning Pyongyang from developing ballistic missiles.

Several Council diplomats said they hoped the 15-nation body could swiftly agree a similar condemnation and later consider a binding resolution, possibly expanding already existing UN sanctions against Pyongyang.

"We support a strong reaction by the council, it's a clear violation," French UN Ambassador Gerard Araud said ahead of the meeting. British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant said, "In our view (the Council) should react, it should react quickly, and it should react strongly to this provocation."

A senior Western diplomat said the US, Europe, Japan and South Korea were among those who would like to see UN sanctions expanded. That could include adding more entities to the UN blacklist, banning travel and freezing assets of individual North Korean officials.

The diplomat hoped to have a resolution agreed by the end of next week.

Unwarranted action: India

NEW DELHI: The Indian External Affairs Ministry said, "India expresses its concern at the launch of a rocket by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1874. This unwarranted action... has adversely impacted peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula." ENS

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