North Korea´s Failed Satellite Launch Draws International Concerns
Beijing, April 13 (Xinhua-RHC) The failed satellite launch by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) early Friday has prompted international concerns, with Washington and Seoul condemning the act as a violation of U.N. resolutions and a threat to regional stability.
White House spokesman Jay Carney made a statement saying, "Despite the failure of its attempted missile launch, North Korea's provocative action threatens regional security, violates international law and contravenes its own recent commitments." He added, "The United States remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations, and is fully committed to the security (of) our allies in the region."
North Korea´sofficial KCNA news agency reported, "The earth observation satellite failed to enter its preset orbit. Scientists, technicians and experts are now looking into the cause of the failure." Pyongyang has insisted the launch, planned to mark the 100th birthday of late DPRK founder Kim Il Sung, was for peaceful purposes and would not harm the region or neighboring countries. Japan's defense ministry said the country has suffered "no impact of falling objects" from the launch and urged the public to stay calm. South Korea strongly condemned the launch, saying the DPRK will have to "take responsibility."
South Korea and Japan had vowed to shoot down the three-stage rocket or parts of it if they fell within their territory, prompting the DPRK to threaten a retaliation of "merciless punishment," but the debris fell into international waters some 100 to 150 km off South Korea's western port city of Gunsan. In Washington, foreign ministers from the Group of Eight (G8) issued a statement condemning the DPRK's rocket launch. They also called on North Korea to meet its international commitments including those under the 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks, and comply with its obligations under all relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, in particular by abandoning all its nuclear weapons and its existing nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
In late February, North Korea agreed to impose a moratorium on nuclear tests and long-range missile launches and allow international nuclear inspectors to return to the country. In return, the United States agreed to provide the country with 240,000 tons of food aid.