Asian states call on North Korea to stop missile launch

South Korea and Japan call on North Korea to step back from widely criticised planned missile launch

Photo by: AP (Archive )
Photo by: AP (Archive )

A North Korean soldier stands in front of the country's Unha-3 rocket, slated for liftoff between Apr. 12 to 16.

South Korea and Japan urged North Korea on Wednesday to stop its controversial plan to test launch a long-range missile.

South Korea announced North Korea's previous launch of a satellite was a step towards launching the long-range missile and added Pyongyang would pay a "severe price" if it continues.

The South's presidential office said in a statement that North Korea should immediately cancel the missile launch because it would violate UN Security Council resolutions.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also said he would work together with the United States and other states to "strongly demand" that North Korea abstain from the plan.

Abe called the plan a provocative act that would be a threat to Japan’s national security.

North Korea informed United Nations agencies on Tuesday that it planned to launch a satellite as early as next week.

The plan could improve Pyongyang's long-range missile technology after it said it tested a hydrogen bomb, although this is disputed, in the country’s fourth nuclear test on Jan. 6.

North Korea is banned by the United Nations Security Council from conducting tests that use ballistic missile technology and is also under heavy sanctions due to its ongoing nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

Talks between North Korea, South Korea, the United States, Russia and Japan over the issue have been at a standstill since 2009 as the reclusive country has defied international warnings not to pursue such a programme.

TRTWorld and agencies