DPRK defends legitimate right of satellite launch
Updated: 2012-03-18 22:07
PYONGYANG - The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has asserted its legitimate right of launching satellites, saying "double standard is intolerable," the official news agency KCNA said Sunday.
It said that countries, including the United States, Japan and the Republic of Korea that have criticized the satellite launch as a "missile launch," are continuing their hostile policy toward the DPRK and encroach upon its sovereignty.
The three countries have dubbed the DPRK's planned satellite launch as "a serious provocative act threatening peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia."
The DPRK is to launch satellite Kwangmyongsong-3, manufactured by itself to mark the 100th birthday of late President Kim Il-sung, in mid-April.
According to the KCNA, the peaceful use of space is a universally recognized legitimate right of a sovereign state. The satellite launch for scientific research can "by no means be a monopoly of specified countries," it said, adding that it is intolerable to use the satellite launch as "a lever for political, military and economic pressure upon the DPRK."
The KCNA also said that the two previously launched experimental satellites, Kwangmyongsong-1 in 1998 and Kwangmyongsong-2 in 2009, had strictly abided by relevant international regulations and practice.
The DPRK has also expressed its readiness to invite experts and journalists of other countries to visit the Sohae Satellite Launching Station.
Shortly after the DPRK announced the planned satellite launch, the United States said it will be hard to provide food aid if Pyongyang moves ahead with the launch.
China said Friday that it "has taken note of" the news, calling on all parties concerned to play constructive roles.