US, Japan call for UNSC meeting on N.Korea satellite launch; Pyongyang hits back

The United States says it has asked for a UN Security Council meeting to be convened on Friday to discuss how to respond to North Korea's attempted launch of what it calls a military reconnaissance satellite.

The US says it made the request along with Japan, South Korea and other countries.

Washington has criticized Monday's failed launch, saying the North used ballistic missile technology in violation of relevant Security Council resolutions.

North Korea reacted sharply to the emergency meeting. The vice foreign minister for international organizations, Kim Son Gyong, released a statement criticizing the move via the state-run Korean Central News Agency on Thursday.

Kim stressed the legitimacy of the launch as an act for bolstering the country's self-defense. He said it is "a fundamental issue whether the spirit of sovereign equality and non-interference in internal affairs stipulated in the UN Charter is preserved or not."

Kim also underlined Pyongyang's resolve to continue launching satellites.

He said North Korea "will never tolerate any moves of the hostile forces," nor "step back from having access to the space reconnaissance capability" no matter what others may say.