The White House issued this joint statement following North Korea's launch of a long-range missile on April 5, 2009.
The launch of a missile by North Korea defies UN Security Council resolutions and harms peace and stability in northeast Asia. We 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. North Korea’s development of a ballistic missile capability, regardless of the stated purpose of this launch, is aimed at providing it with the ability to threaten countries near and far with weapons of mass destruction. This action demands a response from the international community, including from the UN Security Council to demonstrate that its resolutions cannot be defied with impunity.
The United States and the European Union stand ready to work with others in welcoming into the international community a North Korea that abandons its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and policy of threats aimed at its neighbors and that protects the rights of its people. Such a North Korea could share in the prosperity and development that the remainder of northeast Asia has achieved in recent years. North Korea, however, cannot realize either international acceptance or economic development linked to the international system until it ceases its threatening behavior and works with the other parties to implement the September 19, 2005 Six-Party Joint Statement.