NKorea says it was punished unfairly for rocket launch

NKorea says it was punished unfairly for rocket launch
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First Published: Mon, Aug 10 2009. 11 11 AM IST
Updated: Mon, Aug 10 2009. 11 11 AM IST
Seoul: North Korea insisted on Monday it was unfairly punished for its long-range rocket launch in April, noting that South Korea also plans a blast-off this month.
The foreign ministry said it would watch closely to see whether world powers would also refer the South’s launch to the United Nations Security Council.
“Their reaction and attitude towards South Korea’s satellite launch will once again clearly prove whether the principle of equality exists or has collapsed,” said a statement on the official news agency.
The North says its 5 April launch, which brought international condemnation, put a peaceful communications satellite into orbit.
The US and its allies say no satellite was detected in orbit and the launch in any case was a disguised test of a Taepodong-2 missile theoretically capable of reaching Alaska.
The Security Council condemned the launch and slapped sanctions on three North Korean firms - prompting the North to quit six-party nuclear disarmament talks and to stage its second atomic test on 25 May.
Pyongyang reiterated on Monday it quit the long-running six-party talks because some countries involved in them had referred the rocket launch to the UN.
“This resulted in violating the principle of respect for sovereignty and equality, the life and soul and basis of the talks, and bringing them to an end,” its statement said.
“We will closely watch if the above-said parties will also refer South Korea’s satellite launch to the UNSC.”
The talks group the two Koreas, China, Russia, United States and Japan.
South Korea’s first launch of a space rocket from its own soil has been postponed several times for technical reasons, but officials still hope to go ahead this month.
Using a rocket partially built by Russia, it plans to put a satellite into a low earth orbit.
Seoul bristles at any comparisons with the North’s operation.
“We can’t put the North’s rocket launch on a parallel with ours, which is purely for scientific and peaceful purposes,” said Park Jeong-Joo, director of the Korea Aerospace Research Institute, last month.
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First Published: Mon, Aug 10 2009. 11 11 AM IST
More Topics: North Korea | South Korea | UNSC | Rocket | Satellite |