(NSI News Source Info) UNITED NATIONS - April 3, 2009: Japan will call an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council to discuss a possible response if North Korea launches a long-range rocket in the coming days, Japan's U.N. envoy said on Thursday. A North Korean patrol boat sails along the North Korean banks of the Yalu river between North Korea and China near Hekou, northeastern China's Liaoning province, Friday, April 3, 2009. As North Korea fueled a multistage rocket Thursday for its threatened satellite launch, President Barack Obama promised a "stern" response and Japan vowed to press for an emergency session of the U.N. Security Council. Ambassador Yukio Takasu said he had raised the issue at a closed council meeting and added that an emergency session on North Korea could take place this weekend if the rocket was fired. Takasu told reporters intensive diplomatic efforts were under way to persuade Pyongyang not to launch the rocket, which he said would represent a "threat to the security of Japan" and would further increase regional and international tensions. "If this effort does not result in a positive way, Japan will request an urgent meeting of the Security Council to discuss this issue and discuss a response," he said. "We must be clear and firm." Pyongyang has said it will send a satellite into orbit between Saturday and next Wednesday, but the United States, South Korea and Japan say the launch is a disguised test of the long-range Taepodong-2 missile, which is designed to carry a warhead to U.S. territory. "There is a very clear understanding (among) the council members that this affects not only Japan's security but peace and the non-proliferation regime," Takasu said. Japan's envoy gave no details on what response he would like the 15-nation Security Council to make, but he said it was possible Japan would press for a legally binding resolution. "We have been working on this, including the possibility of a resolution, if it's necessary," he said. "How it can be formulated, I don't I want at this moment to speculate."
He declined to say whether such a resolution would call for new sanctions or better enforcement of existing financial sanctions and an arms sanctions against North Korea. Council diplomats say that both Russia and China, which are permanent veto-wielding members of the Security Council, have made clear that they would not support a resolution imposing new sanctions. Echoing earlier comments from South Korea's foreign ministry, Takasu said launching the rocket would be a breach of Security Council resolution 1718, which imposed the existing sanctions after North Korea's nuclear test in October 2006. "If the DPRK (North Korea) goes ahead with the action that they announced, it is a clear violation of Security Council resolution 1718," he said. "The violation of this must have consequences."