A North Korean soldier stands watch outside
the Tangachai-ri Space
Pyongyang, April 11. North Korea insists
that it will follow
through with the launch of what it calls a satellite, but which
the rest of the world considers a long-range ballistic
We Urge North Korea to ‘Cancel its Rocket Launch’ (The Kochi Shimbun, Japan)
"How can North Koreans believe they have become a ‘great and powerful’
nation when people are starving and they have done nothing to improve the food
situation? The new leader has plenty to do before he thinks about ‘launching an
earth observation satellite to pursue peaceful space exploration.’"
Mission control technicians at North Korea's Tangachai-ri Space Center, April 11. Engineers are said to be pumping fuel into a rocket that Pyongyang says will carry a 'satellite' - but that much of the world calls a test of long-range ballistic missile technology.
Why is North Korea selecting a path that will further
isolate it from the rest of the world? This serious
question remains unresolved as the date for its planned so-called “satellite”
launch - otherwise known as a rocket - edges closer (April 12-16).
We would like to strongly urge North Korea to cancel the
Since its announcement in mid-April, the international
community, including Japan, has opposed the move as a violation of a U.N.
Security Council resolution banning North Korea from all activities related to
ballistic missile development.
For its part, North Korea claims it is “launching an earth
observation satellite to pursue peaceful space exploration,” fuelling suspicion
from Japan, the United States and South Korea, all of which are concerned about
what is, in effect, a long range ballistic missile launch.
A U.N. Security Council resolution was passed unanimously in
2006, following a previous ballistic missile launch and nuclear test. Economic
and diplomatic sanctions like an export ban on goods for North Korea were
adopted against the backdrop of strong global concern.
The sanctions, which have exacerbated food shortages, are
believed to have led to an agreement on food aid between North Korea and the
United States in February.
But if the “satellite” launch takes place, the United States
will not provide food aid, so it is perplexing that the new North Korean regime
would intentionally create such a situation.
Posted by Worldmeets.US
It has been reported that Pyongyang considers April 15th,
the 100th birthday of the nation’s founder Kim Il-sung, the day it will become
a “great, prosperous and powerful nation,” and that it has planned the
“satellite” launch to mark the occasion. Perhaps they also intend to
domestically and internationally advertise “space exploration” as an
accomplishment of the Kim Jong-un regime.
But how can North Koreans believe they have become a “great
and powerful” nation when people are starving and they have done nothing to
improve the food situation? The new leader has plenty to do before he thinks
about “launching an earth observation satellite to pursue peaceful space
On April 8, foreign journalists were shown the launch
control center as well as a “rocket” and “satellite.” This is an extraordinary
move for the secretive nation, but one must bear in mind that distinguishing between
a “rocket” and a long range ballistic missile is impossible just by looking.
South Korean media have reported indications that the North
is planning to hold a nuclear test after the launch. In 2009, a missile launch
and nuclear test occurred in quick succession. Because of this precedent, the
international community has understandably raised its vigilance.
If the launch goes ahead, the resumption of Six-Party Talks
will become even harder to arrange. In cooperation with China and Russia, which
hold influence over North Korea, we suggest that the global community vocally
oppose the launch until the very last minute.
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