A senior US official warned Tuesday that North Korea will face “strong actions” from the international community if it goes ahead with a long-range rocket launch in violation of UN resolutions. “We hope they rethink that idea. But if they don’t it’s very clear there will be strong actions taken by the international community,” US Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken told reporters after talks with South Korean officials.

“We are absolutely unified and in solidarity with regard to challenges posed by North Korea,” he added. There has been speculation for months that the North might launch a long-range rocket to celebrate the 70th anniversary of its ruling Workers’ Party on Saturday. But South Korean officials said North Korea showed no sign of preparing for a rocket launch. “We don’t see any signs of making preparations for an imminent launch such as the movement of a launch vehicle” to the launch pad, a Unification Ministry official said on condition of anonymity. CONTINUE