A screen at the General Satellite Control and Command Center shows the moment North Korea's Unha-3 rocket is launched in Pyongyang, North Korea, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012. North Korea successfully fired a long-range rocket on Wednesday, defying international warnings as the regime of Kim Jong Un took a big step forward in its quest to develop a nuclear missile. (AP Photo)
UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- The U.N. Security Council has unanimously approved a resolution condemning North Korea's rocket launch in December and is imposing new sanctions on Pyongyang's space agency.
The rocket launch is considered part of a covert program to develop ballistic missiles that can carry warheads.
The council reiterated its previous demand that North Korea abandon its nuclear weapons program in a "complete, verifiable and irreversible manner" and cease launches.
China approved the resolution, the first in four years to expand the sanctions regime on North Korea.
Washington negotiated with Beijing over the weekend to adopt a compromise on a resolution. China's endorsement is a step away from the protection it usually gives to North Korea, its neighbor, which it defended in the Korean War in the early 1950s against U.S.-led U.N. troops.