DPRK's satellite launch 'harmful'

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China Daily, March 19, 2012
Adjust font size:

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea's latest plan to launch a satellite would harm its fragile mutual trust with Washington, while the move is more likely due to domestic political concerns, experts said on Sunday.

Pyongyang's action will harm DPRK-US ties, which were just getting better, said Huang Youfu, director of the Institute of Korean Studies at Minzu University of China.

"It would lead to a new round of sanctions against the country and Pyongyang may be isolated again," said Huang.

The move by the DPRK's new leadership coincides with the 100th anniversary of the birth of its founder Kim Il-sung, Huang said, adding that it ignored the negative reaction from the international community.

Wang Junsheng, an expert on Asian studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, agreed with Huang, saying that the Pyongyang's action was more likely a result of domestic political requirements and would worsen its ties with Washington and the situation on the Korean Peninsula.

The United States would by no means allow itself to be pressured by other countries, and it would surely take measures, but there may not be more sanctions, because the desire for an improvement in ties between the two countries was strong, Wang said.

The experts' remarks came after Pyongyang rejected the criticism of the proposed launch from Washington and its allies on Sunday.

The launch of the satellite Kwangmyongsong-3 was the legitimate right of the DPRK, said the Korean Central News Agency, reiterating that the launch was for scientific research and economic development.

Criticism from countries including the US, Japan and the Republic of Korea is "a base move to deny the DPRK's right to use space for peaceful purposes and encroach upon its sovereignty as it is typical of the hostile policy toward it", said KCNA.

The DPRK is ready to invite experienced foreign experts and journalists to visit the Sohae Satellite Launching Station, KCNA added.

Pyongyang on Friday announced its plan to launch a satellite for "earth observation" in mid-April, which is being treated as a simulated missile test by the US and its allies.

Meeting DPRK Ambassador to China Ji Jae-ryong on Friday, Deputy Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun expressed China's concern over the issue, said the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Zhang urged the relevant parties to maintain calm and to avoid the escalation of tension that may complicate the situation.

Japan would use its missile defense system to shoot the DPRK's rocket down if it entered its territory, Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba told the media on Saturday.

The US warned the DPRK that the launch might lead to an abrogation of the nutrition assistance project, which was finalized in Beijing on March 8.

"Were we to have the launch, it would create obviously tensions and that would make the implementation of any kind of nutritional agreement quite difficult," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said on Friday.

According to an agreement reached between Pyongyang and Washington in Beijing last month, the US agreed to provide 240,000 tons of nutrition assistance, and the DPRK in return promised to suspend its nuclear tests and missile launches and allowed checks by international nuclear inspectors.

Nuland said a satellite launch by the DPRK "would be highly provocative".

"The DPRK announcement talks about a satellite launch However, as we know, it requires the use of missile technology to launch a satellite."

The Russian Foreign Ministry also expressed "grave concern" over the announcement, calling on Pyongyang not to oppose the international community, and to desist from actions that complicated the resumption of the Six-Party Talks.

The ROK Foreign Ministry said it would work closely with related countries to urge the DPRK to "immediately stop provocative acts and abide by its international obligations", while UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was "seriously concerned" about the DPRK's proposed satellite launch.

In 2009, the DPRK conducted a similar launch and managed to put the Kwangmyongsong-2 communications satellite into orbit, said KCNA. But countries including the US, the ROK and Russia believed the launch failed.

The launch led to the tightening of sanctions on the DPRK.

Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from China.org.cnMobileRSSNewsletter