Japan, the United States and South Korea were to jointly press for a new resolution to be adopted against North Korea’s rocket launch at a session of the U.N. Security Council on Sunday, Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone said.

Following the launch at 11:30 a.m., Nakasone held separate phone talks with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung Hwan, as well as with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi.

“I told them that North Korea’s launch undermines peace in our region and constitutes a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions. Therefore, it is intolerable,” Nakasone told reporters.

Nakasone was referring to Security Council Resolution 1718, which was adopted following North Korea’s nuclear test in October 2006 and calls on Pyongyang to abandon its missile and nuclear development program. Japan views Sunday’s rocket launch as a clear breach of the resolution, regardless of its payload.

Nakasone said he conveyed to his counterparts Japan’s hopes that the council will issue a “strong message” against Pyongyang.

While the U.S. and South Korea have agreed to work with Japan, Nakasone said that China, while understanding Tokyo’s position, called for a cool-headed response.

Nakasone said he hopes the Security Council will adopt a new resolution, although he did not specify its contents. It has been suggested that economic sanctions are one option.

“It flew over Japan, so it is an emergency for our nation and people,” Nakasone said, adding it is important that Japan respond firmly.

Asked if the launch would affect the six-party talks on North Korea’s denuclearization, he said: “I think it can’t help but have some kind of influence.”

Abductees’ families

Kyodo News

Relatives of Japanese abducted by North Korea called Sunday on the government to expand sanctions against Pyongyang, citing what they described as the North’s “unfaithful” approach to resolving the abduction issue.

“Why do (the North Koreans) need a satellite when they are receiving humanitarian aid from the international community for their food shortages?” they asked.

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