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Asia-pacific

Pyongyang vows 'strong steps' if censured by UN

Latest update : 2009-04-08

A North Korean diplomat has warned that Pyongyang would react strongly to any action from the UN Security Council over its long-range rocket launch, saying any censure would "infringe upon the sovereignty of our country".

AFP - A North Korean diplomat warned on Tuesday Pyongyang would react strongly to any censure by the UN Security Council of its long-range rocket launch.
   
Pak Tok Hun, North Korea's deputy UN ambassador, told reporters that if the 15-member council "takes any kind of steps whatever, we will consider this infringes upon the sovereignty of our country. The next option will be ours."
   
He declared Pyongyang would take "necessary and strong steps" following any censure motion.
   
"Every country has the inalienable right to use outer space peacefully," Pak insisted, pointing out that many countries had already launched satellites into space several hundred times.
   
He said that if it was all right for those countries to launch satellites, "but we are not allowed to do that, that's not fair."
   
Pak insisted that the three-stage Taepodong-2 rocket launched Sunday carried a satellite, not a missile.
   
"This is a satellite. Everyone can distinguish (between) a satellite and a missile," he added.
   
The United States and its allies say the satellite never made it into space and that Sunday's launch was really a failed ballistic missile test.
   
They argued that the launch violated Security Council resolution 1718, adopted in 2006, which prohibits missile-related activities by the Stalinist state.
   
On Tuesday, as North Korea released film footage of the launch, China, the North's closest ally, pointedly refused to condemn the act, saying Pyongyang had the right to the peaceful use of space.
   
"We hope relevant parties can maintain restraint and stay calm to safeguard overall peace and stability," foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said.

Date created : 2009-04-08

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