Britain 'deplores' N.Korea rocket launch
Britain said it "deplored" North Korea's launch of a long-range rocket on Wednesday and vowed to summon the Asian country's UK ambassador to the Foreign Office.
"I strongly condemn the DPRK's satellite launch today," Foreign Secretary William Hague said in a statement.
"I deplore the fact that the DPRK has chosen to prioritise this launch over improving the livelihood of its people. We will be summoning the DPRK Ambassador to the UK to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office," he added.
North Korea launched the rocket in defiance of UN sanctions threats over what Pyongyang's critics insist is a disguised ballistic missile test.
"It (the rocket) has been launched," a South Korean defence ministry spokesman told AFP without elaborating further.
The Yonhap news agency, citing a government source, said the rocket had taken off from the Sohae satellite launch centre at 9:51 am (0051 GMT) and was immediately detected by navy vessels deployed by Seoul in the Yellow Sea.
Hague said the launch violated UN Security Council Resolutions 1718 and 1874 as it involved the testing of ballistic missile technology and warned it would increase tensions in the region.
Britain will consult its partners in the UN in order to formulate a response, he said.
"It is essential that the DPRK refrain from further provocative action and take constructive steps towards denuclearisation and lasting peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula," added the minister.
© 2012 AFP