US: NKorea planned launch strengthens need for sanctions

AP News
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Posted: Feb 02, 2016 1:14 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top U.S. diplomat for East Asia says that a planned missile launch by North Korea would be "an unmistakable slap in the face" for those arguing against more sanctions in response to its recent nuclear test.

Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel said Tuesday that a launch that uses ballistic missile technology would be another violation of a U.N. ban and strengthens the argument for the international community to impose "real consequences" on North Korea for destabilizing behavior.

The U.S. has been pushing for the imposition of sanctions following its Jan. 6 nuclear test. China, the North's only major ally, has condemned that test, but is more reluctant to impose sanctions.

North Korea has notified international organizations that it plans to launch a rocket between Feb. 8 and Feb. 25.