DPRK satellite launch plans trigger concern
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea's satellite launch plan triggered widespread concern from regional countries on Sunday, with Pyongyang intending to implement the plan between Dec 10 and 22.
With the satellite launch, the DPRK is attempting to grab the attention of the international community, rather than intensify the situation on the Korean Peninsula, said Wang Fan, a professor at China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing.
The isolated DPRK needs a favorable international atmosphere to develop its domestic economy, and it is warning the international community to take seriously and hold talks with the country, said Wang Junsheng, a researcher of East Asian studies with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
According to a report on Saturday from the DPRK's Korean Central News Agency, a spokesman for the Korean Committee for Space Technology said the country intends to launch a working satellite — a second version of the Kwangmyongsong-3.
The launch plan has sparked concerns from the United States and its major allies in Asia, who condemn it as "provocation", while China also showed its concern and called for calm.
Related: China concerned about DPRK's satellite launch
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told media on Sunday that China urged relevant parties to prevent the matter from escalating, and urged peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula to be maintained.
The DPRK has the right to peacefully use the space, but the right is limited by United Nations Security Council resolutions, Qin said.
US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a written statement that the launch "would be a highly provocative act that threatens peace and security in the region", while Pentagon spokesman George Little urged Pyongyang to abide by its international obligations under UNSC resolutions.
Pyongyang said it will fully comply with relevant international regulations and usage, but Washington insisted that Pyongyang's satellite launches are a cover for tests for long-range missile technology designed to strike the US.
(Photo taken on April 8, 2012 shows the Unha-3 rocket for launching Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite installed on the launch pad in Tongchang-ri base, Cholsan County, North Phyongan Province, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea(DPRK). [Photo/Xinhua])