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LinkAsia | Apr 12
North Korea appears to be preparing to launch at least one medium-range rocket to celebrate the anniversary of founding father Kim Il-sung's birth....
Hi, welcome to LinkAsia. I'm Yul Kwon. There's widespread condemnation of North Korea's plan to launch a satellite next month. The North Koreans assert that it's their sovereign right. The US says it's a deal breaker. Just a few weeks ago, the two countries agreed that North Korea would receive American food in return for halting its nuclear program, allowing international inspectors back into the country, and not conducting missile tests. Well, here's what the US State Department is now saying about the deal.
Victoria Nuland, US State Department Spokesperson:
Frankly, if they were to go forward with this launch, it's very hard to imagine how we would be able to move forward with a regime whose word we have no confidence in and who has egregiously violated its international commitments.
Not surprisingly, South Korea has condemned the North Korean satellite launch, calling it a "grave provocation." Here's South Korean broadcaster, MBC, with the story.
The foreign affairs and security ministers held an urgent meeting chaired by President Lee Myung-bak. They concluded that North Korea's planned launch of the Kwangmyongsong-3 rocket is part of a program for nuclear weapons delivery.
Park Jung-ha, Presidential Spokesman:
North Korea's so-called 'satellite launch' is aimed at developing a long-range method of delivering nuclear weapons by using ballistic missile technology. This plan is a grave provocation.
The government's decision is based on UN Security Council Resolution 1874, which bans "any launch using ballistic missile technology." As its first step, the government plans for President Lee to take an active role on the issue during next week's Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul.
Lee Myung-bak, South Korean President:
We expect Seoul's hosting the summit will help broaden global support for the North's denuclearization.
The military also sees the Kwangmyongsong-3 as a "ballistic missile" and a serious military threat, and has formed a task force of top officers. The basic plan of the government seems to be: prevent the North's intentions from affecting the Nuclear Security Summit and also from affecting next month's general elections. The government, however, has decided to maintain humanitarian aid and non-governmental exchanges with North Korea right up to the launch of the rocket.