EXTRA: EU condemns North Korean rocket launch

EU condemns North Korean rocket launchPrague  - The European Union (EU) joined the international community Sunday in strongly condemning North Korea's launch of a long-range rocket.

A statement issued by the Czech government, which currently holds the EU's sixth-month rotating presidency, said the North Korean action placed additional strains on regional stability and was contrary to United Nations resolutions.

"These actions place additional strains on regional stability at a time when the unresolved nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula requires mutual confidence building," the EU said.

"Such actions are also a matter of more general concern due to their global proliferation implications," the statement said.

The EU called on North Korea to suspend all activities related to its ballistic missile programme and abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programmes "in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner."

The statement went on to say: "The EU will continue actively to support efforts to resolve the security issues on the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner." dpa