World leaders warn N. Korea to disarm

April 5, 2009 at 7:43 AM
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PRAGUE, Czech Republic, April 5 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama says North Korea's missile launch Sunday threatens countries near and far and demands action from the U.N. Security Council.

North Korea's development of missile capability is aimed at threatening countries with weapons of mass destruction, Obama said in Prague as he continued his tour of European countries.

"I call on North Korea to honor its commitment to abandon all nuclear weapons programs, to abide by recognized norms of international relations, and to work to promote peace and stability in Northeast Asia," Obama said.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice were in contact with U.S. allies regarding an emergency meeting Sunday of the U.N. Security Council, Obama said.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters he woke Obama Sunday with word of the launch and the president had been in conference with diplomatic and defense officials since then.

Obama joined leaders of China, Japan and South Korea in calling for North Korea to abandon all nuclear weapons and to promote peace and stability in Northeast Asia.

Just hours before the launch, South Korea's national security council called an emergency meeting amid concerns the launch was imminent, CNN reported.

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