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DPRK Launch Triggers SC Meeting, France Wants Resolution on "Rocket That Could"

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 12, updated -- After North Korea's launch, the UN Security Council scheduled a meeting for Wednesday morning. Media, mostly Japanese, camped out in front of the Council. The first Permanent Representative to stop and speak was Gerard Araud of France.

  But a non-Permanent Five diplomat stopped and joked to Inner City Press about the "little missile that could," and said there was no indication of what Araud said he wants: a resolution as opposed to a Press Statement or Presidential Statement, both of which require consensus.

  The Permanent Representative of South Korea, which formally joins the Security Council on January 1, walked in and told the press, "I'll see you later." China's Li Baodong said the same. Australia's Permanent Representative Gary Quinlan, also beginning on January 1, said of the launch, "We're not happy with it."

  Here is what France's Gerard Araud said (the first time) --

(We are with) our Korean and Japanese friends and allies which are on the front line. We are trusting also of course the other countries of the group of the 6 countries. But we need to have a strong reaction. It's a clear violation of the resolution 1874, and so we do think it's important that the Security Council meets and reacts and we are in favor of as strong a reaction as it's possible. But as you know there are nuances between the members of the Security Council. So we'll see what our friends are going to ask us and our friends are going to react. France is not on the front line but we are good friends of the US, South Korea, Japan and we want to work of course with China and Russia. But I do think that there will be a reaction.

Would the preferred reaction be a resolution?

France would prefer, will consider that we need a resolution, after this blatant violation of resolution but again we have to see how things are going to go at the Council today.

It is understood that Germany, too, would prefer a resolution. The UK's Mark Lyall Grant said he wants a rapid reaction, but did not use the word resolution. Watch this site.

Update of 11:10 am -- Araud came back for a second talk to the press, said France wants a fast reaction today, then maybe a resolution. As he spoke, US Ambassador Susan Rice passed, joking about "the voluble French Ambassador" then went into the Council.

Update of 11:50 am -- a self-described "Security Council diplomat" tells press that the idea of all who've spoken in the consultations including China and Russia is "press elements." Is that less than a Press Statement? It's been done before.

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