Sunday, March 18, 2012

DPRK to invite int'l observers to satellite launch amid growing concerns   2012-03-18 11:33:22             
BEIJING, March 18 (Xinhua) -- With international concerns growing over the planned satellite launch of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Pyongyang has decided to invite foreign experts to observe the launch.
The European Union (EU) on Saturday expressed its worries and called on the country to refrain from the launch plan, which would see the DPRK launch an "earth observation" satellite in April to mark the 100th birthday of late leader Kim Il Sung.
"This launch would be contrary to DPRK's international obligations, in particular under UN Security Council resolution 1874," the spokesperson of EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said in a statement.
"It would also undermine ongoing diplomatic efforts to create an environment conducive for the resumption of the Six-Party Talks on the nuclear issue," the statement added.
Ashton calls on the DPRK to confirm as a matter of urgency that it will refrain from the proposed launch and to resume work on mutual confidence building, according to the spokesperson.
The United States, Russia, South Korea and the United Nations have all voiced their concerns over the DPRK's move, and China has expressed hope that "parties concerned stay calm and exercise restraint and avoid escalation of tension that may lead to a more complicated situation."
The DPRK said it would use a long-range Unha-3 rocket to launch the satellite, and has insisted that its satellite launches are for peaceful and scientific purposes.
Amid mounting concerns from the international community, the DPRK's official news agency KCNA said Saturday that the country would invite international observers to monitor the launch.
The Korean Committee for Space Technology would "invite experienced foreign experts on space science and technology and journalists to visit the Sohae Satellite Launching Station, the General Satellite Control and Command Center and other places and observe its launch," the agency reported.
It also said the DPRK had informed the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Maritime Organization, the International Telecommunication Union and others in line with international regulations and procedures.
Meanwhile, the KCNA said the DPRK people believe that the upcoming launch will be a success after the successful launches in 1998 and 2009.
"There is no doubt that the forthcoming satellite launch will be successful as it was manufactured entirely with domestic technology," the KCNA quoted Kim Sun Hui, a mechanical engineering professor at Pyongyang University, as saying.
"The previous successful launch of two experimental satellites had led to solid material and technological foundations for the upcoming launch and its normal operation," he added.
However, some countries including South Korea, Russia and the United States said the DPRK's 2009 launch of a communications satellite was a failure.
BEIJING, March 17 (Xinhua) -- The United States, Russia, China and South Korea, as well as the United Nations all voiced their concerns Friday over a satellite launch plan announced by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).  Full story
WASHINGTON, March 16 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Defense Department on Friday said the April launch of a long-range rocket announced by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) would violate U.N. resolutions and represent a destabilizing influence in the region.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the U.S. side "consider it destabilizing behavior," urging the DPRK leadership to "reconsider this decision and to conform to their obligations under those sanctions."  Full story
BEIJING, March 16 (Xinhua) -- China on Friday voiced concern over the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's (DPRK) plan to launch a satellite in April.
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun met with Ji Jae Ryong, DPRK ambassador to China, on Friday to express China's worry over the matter, according to a statement from the Chinese Foreign Ministry.  Full story
PYONGYANG, March 16 (Xinhua) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is to launch in mid-April a working satellite, Kwangmyongsong-3, manufactured by itself with indigenous technology to mark the 100th birth anniversary of President Kim Il Sung, the official news agency KCNA reported Friday.
A spokesman for the Korean Committee for Space Technology, who announced this in a statement Friday, said the expected launch, scheduled between April 12 and 16, is in line with the government's policy for space development and peaceful use, said the report.  Full story
Editor: Chen Zhi
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