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China urges cautious UN reaction to DPRK 'rocket' launch
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The United Nations should react cautiously to what the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) claimed to be a satellite launch, China's Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.

"We think that the reaction of the UN Security Council should help safeguard the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and northeast Asia, as well as help promote the six-party talks," ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told a regular press conference.

Jiang said rocket and missile technologies were similar, but satellite launches were different in nature to missile or nuclear tests.

"This issue also involves the right of all countries to the peaceful use of outer space. The UN Security Council should react cautiously," she said.

The DPRK said it successfully launched an "Unha-2" rocket at 11:20 a.m. local time (0220 GMT) Sunday, and sent a "Kwangmyongsong-2" satellite into orbit in about 9 minutes.

The Security Council held an emergency session on Sunday afternoon, but it concluded with no collective response to the rocket launch by the DPRK, but members of the 15-nation council agreed to continue consultations on the issue.

Jiang said China hoped all parties would remain calm and show restraint, properly handle the issue and jointly safeguard peace and stability in the region.

"China will continue to play a constructive role," she said.

Jiang said the promotion of the six-party talks was in the common interests of the international community to realize denuclearization of the Peninsula and maintain peace and stability on the Peninsula and in northeast Asia.

"Parties involved should properly handle this issue from a long-term and overall perspective, and work together for a peaceful and stable Korean Peninsula and northeast Asia," she said.

(Xinhua News Agency April 7, 2009)

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