The UN Security Council has strongly condemned North Korea's recent failed rocket launch as a violation of council resolutions, and also given warning that it would take further action in the event of a new missile launch or nuclear test.

The statement on Monday approved by all 15 council members and read at a formal meeting on Monday, described Friday's failed launch, as well as any future use of ballistic-missile technology, as "a serious violation" of UN sanctions. 

The council further demanded that North Korea halt any further launches and said Friday's launch "has caused grave concerns in the region". 

The meeting also instructed the council's North Korea sanctions committee to consider, within the next 15 days, adding new firms and individuals to its sanctions blacklist, as well as additional goods, that North Korea would be banned from importing.

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North Korea admitted its long-range rocket failed to deliver a satellite into orbit while US and South Korean officials said it crashed into the sea a few minutes after launch.

Western nations have said the launch was a cover for the testing of a long-range missile, and worries remain about North Korea's nuclear program amid reports that it may be planning another atomic test soon.

While the statement called for tightening existing sanctions, diplomats said no council member had seriously pushed the idea of imposing new sanctions on North Korea in retaliation for the launch, something China and Russia would have opposed.

The existing UN blacklist of sanctioned firms and individuals includes those linked to Pyongyang's nuclear and
missile industries.

Susan Rice, the US ambassador to the UN annd current council president, said the speedy adoption of the statement "shows that the international community is united'" in sending a strong message to North Korea and said its companies dealing in nuclear technology would be added to the sanctions list

US and other Western officials have repeatedly said that the launch violated a UN ban on the use of ballistic missile technology by North Korea, a measure the Security Council imposed on the country in the wake of its 2006 and 2009 nuclear tests.

Source: Agencies