North Korea’s satellite plan provocative: US

March 16th, 2012 - 10:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, March 16 (IANS) US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Friday termed as “highly provocative” plans by North Korea to launch an “earth observation” satellite.

“North Korea’s announcement that it plans to conduct a missile launch in direct violation of its international obligations is highly provocative. UN Security Council Resolutions 1718 and 1874 clearly and unequivocally prohibit North Korea from conducting launches that use ballistic missile technology,” Xinhua quoted Clinton as saying.

North Korea announced earlier in the day that it would launch an “earth observation” satellite, using a long-range rocket to mark the 100th birthday of late founding leader Kim Il-Sung. The satellite would be launched between April 12 and 16, the official news agency KCNA reported.

Clinton warned that such a launch would pose a threat to regional security and would also be inconsistent with North Korea’s recent undertaking to refrain from long-range missile launches.

She urged Pyongyang to “adhere to its international obligations, including all relevant UN Security Council Resolutions”.

Washington was consulting its international partners on the next step, Clinton said.

Kim Il-sung — revered as the “Eternal Sun of Mankind” in North Korea — ruled the communist nation for nearly 50 years before his death in 1994. His birthday, April 15, is commemorated as the “Day of the Sun”.

The announcement came just two weeks after Pyongyang agreed to suspend uranium enrichment, as well as nuclear and long-range missile tests in return for 240,000 tonnes of US food aid.

A similar launch in 2009 drew international criticism and led to UN Security Council sanctions. North Korea claimed the satellite reached orbit but the US and South Korea said it fell into the Pacific and that the launch was a cover for ballistic missile tests.

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