US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has called his South Korean counterpart, Kim Kwan Jin, as tensions increase in the Korean peninsula on a missile launch by Pyongyang. "Both leaders would regard a missile launch by North Korea as a serious provocation and a violation of North Korea's international obligations and standing UN Security Council Resolutions," Pentagon Press Secretary, George Little, said after telephonic talks between the two leaders.
Secretary Panetta and Minister Kim reaffirmed their shared commitment to closely monitor North Korea's efforts and to ensure the defense of the Republic of Korea, Little said.
Earlier in the day, the White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney, termed it as provocative. "We view the potential rocket launch as a very provocative act that would be, if it were conducted, done in direct violation of North Korea's international obligations. Any further testing, underground testing, would be a provocative action," he told reporters.
"Because we judge North Korea by its actions, in each case this would be an indication of North Korea's decision, at the leadership level, not to take the steps that are necessary to allow North Korea to end its isolation, to rejoin the community of nations, and to do something about the extreme poverty and deprivation that its people suffer from because of the nature of the system that they live under and the isolation that they've brought on themselves," he said.