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Failed North Korean rocket condemned

April 13, 2012 at 11:07 AM

BRUSSELS, April 13 (UPI) -- Though a long-range rocket fired by North Korea failed to reach orbit, some world leaders said the deployment was an act of provocation.

North Korea tried Friday to launch what it said was an Earth observation satellite into orbit using a long-range rocket. The rocket broke apart minutes after launch.

European Parliament President Martin Shulz called on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to abandon what he said was a "worrying path" of confrontation.

"I strongly condemn this act of provocation by the North Korean authorities," Shulz said in a statement.

Members of the Group of Eight industrial nations issued a joint condemnation, saying the launch was in clear violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions prohibiting intercontinental missile deployments.

"North Korea must cease its rocket launching program and abide by all its international obligations, particularly under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons," Schulz.

There were concerns that North Korea may attempt a nuclear test to coincide with the rocket deployment.

Pyongyang last month agreed to place a moratorium on long-range missile tests and nuclear work in exchange for substantial food assistance from the United States. Washington said that aid was now in jeopardy.

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