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US says North Korea's attempted satellite launch violates UN resolutions

FILE PHOTO: TV broadcasting a news report on North Korea firing a space rocket, at a railway station in Seoul

By Kanishka Singh

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -North Korea's attempted satellite launch on Thursday violates U.N. Security Council resolutions despite failing in flight, the U.S. State Department and the White House said, adding Washington sought dialogue with Pyongyang without preconditions.

The United States urged North Korea to refrain from "further threatening activity," a State Department spokesperson said in a statement. The White House said separately that the door "has not closed" on diplomacy but that Pyongyang "must immediately cease its provocative actions and instead choose engagement".

U.S. President Joe Biden's national security team was assessing the situation in close coordination with U.S. allies and partners, the White House said, adding that all countries must condemn North Korea's launch attempt.

"The United States strongly condemns the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) for its launch using ballistic missile technology, which despite its failure, is a brazen violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions, raises tensions, and risks destabilizing the security situation in the region and beyond," the White House said.

The failure of North Korea's second attempt to place a spy satellite in orbit Thursday occurred when the booster experienced a problem with its third stage, state media reported. The country's space authorities vowed to try again in October.

Its first try in May also ended in failure, when the new Chollima-1 rocket crashed into the sea.

The nuclear-armed country has been seeking to place what would be its first military spy satellite into orbit, saying it plans a fleet of satellites to monitor moves by U.S. and South Korean troops.

The United States and other countries appear to be as concerned about the satellite launches as they are about the nuclear-armed country's weapons tests.

The United States will take all necessary measures to ensure U.S. security and the defense of South Korea and Japanese allies, the White House said.

"Space launch vehicles (SLVs) incorporate technologies that are identical to, and interchangeable with, those used in ballistic missiles, including intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs)," the State Department spokesperson said. "Any DPRK (North Korea) launch that uses ballistic missile technology, which would include SLVs used to launch a satellite into space, violates multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions."

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington; Editing by Sandra Maler, Lisa Shumaker and Gerry Doyle)