- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 5, 2009

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - The U.N. Security Council approved an emergency session Sunday to deal with North Korea’s rocket launch.

Mexico’s mission to the United Nations set the meeting for 3 p.m. EDT, spokesman Marco Morales said. Mexico holds the 15-nation council’s presidency this month.

That approval came after Japan submitted a formal letter requested an emergency session of the United Nations council that handles threats to international peace and security.

“We received a letter and there will be a meeting,” Morales said.

Yutaka Arima, a spokesman for Japan’s U.N. mission, said his nation asked for the meeting within minutes of the launch.

The U.S. and South Korean governments confirmed North Korea launched a long-range rocket launch from its east coast base that flew over Japan.

North Korea says it was putting a communications satellite into space. The U.S., South Korea, Japan and others suspect Pyongyang of using the launch to improperly test long-range missile technology.

Diplomats at the U.N. say the U.S., Britain, France and South Korea already have begun discussing a possible Security Council resolution to reaffirm its existing sanctions on North Korea.

Those sanctions were imposed in 2006 in an attempt to persuade North Korea to shelve its nuclear program and halt long-range missile tests.

The diplomats said the U.S., Britain and France, each of which holds veto power on the 15-nation council, are unlikely to seek new sanctions in the face of probable resistance from China, North Korea’s closest ally, and Russia, the other two nations with veto power.

They spoke on condition of anonymity, because of the sensitive nature of the discussions.

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