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U.N. "deplores" North Korea missile launch, Security Council to meet

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday strongly condemned North Korea's missile launch and expressed concern that it could negatively impact prospects for peace and security in the region.

"The Secretary-General deplores the rocket launch announced by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea)," Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky said in a statement.

"It is a clear violation of Security Council resolution 1874, in which the Council demanded that the DPRK not conduct any launch using ballistic missile technology," the statement said.

U.N. Security Council diplomats said the 15-nation body would discuss the launch during a scheduled meeting on other issues that begins at 10:00 a.m. ET (1500 GMT) on Wednesday. Japan had requested a Security Council meeting on the missile launch.

Nesirky said Ban has been urging North Korea's leaders not to launch a missile but "instead to build confidence with its neighbors while taking steps to improve the lives of its people."

"The Secretary-General is concerned about the negative consequences that this provocative act may have on peace and stability in the region," the statement said, adding that Ban was in touch with "concerned" governments.

(Reporting By Louis Charbonneau; Editing by Eric Walsh)

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