Monday, April 06, 2009

DPRK Launches Satellite Kwamgmyongson-2; US Imperialists Condemn Test But Fails to Pass Resolution at the UN Security Council

Kim Jong Il Observes Launch of Satellite Kwangmyongsong-2

Pyongyang, April 5 (KCNA) -- General Secretary Kim Jong Il visited the General Satellite Control and Command Centre to watch the process of launching the experimental communications satellite Kwangmyongsong-2 on Sunday.

He acquainted himself with the preparations made for the satellite launch.

After being briefed on the satellite launch, he observed the whole process of the satellite launch at the centre.

At 11:20 a.m. the satellite Kwangmyongsong-2, a shining product of self-reliance, soared into space by carrier rocket Unha-2. It was smoothly and accurately put into its orbit 9 minutes and 2 seconds after being completely separated from the carrier rocket.

Expressing great satisfaction over the fact that scientists and technicians of the DPRK successfully launched the satellite with their own wisdom and technology, he highly appreciated their feats and extended thanks to them.

It is a striking demonstration of the might of our Juche-oriented science and technology that our scientists and technicians developed both the multistage carrier rocket and the satellite with their own wisdom and technology 100 percent and accurately put the satellite into orbit at one go, he noted, repeatedly praising the patriotic devotion of the scientists and technicians who are playing a vanguard role in the drive to open the gate to a great prosperous and powerful nation.

Stressing the need to bring about a new turn in conquering outer space and making a peaceful use of it on the basis of the successful launch of the satellite Kwangmyongsong-2, he set forth the important tasks to be fulfilled to do so.

He met with the scientists and technicians who have contributed to the satellite launch by devoting all their wisdom and enthusiasm with ardent patriotism and warmly encouraged them before having a photograph taken with them.

He was accompanied by Secretary Jon Pyong Ho and First Vice-Department Director Ju Kyu Chang of the WPK Central Committee.

KCNA on DPRK's Successful Launch of Satellite Kwangmyongsong-2

Pyongyang, April 5 (KCNA) -- Scientists and technicians of the DPRK have succeeded in putting satellite Kwangmyongsong-2, an experimental communications satellite, into orbit by means of carrier rocket Unha-2 under the state long-term plan for the development of outer space.

Unha-2, which was launched at the Tonghae Satellite Launching Ground in Hwadae County, North Hamgyong Province at 11:20 on April 5, Juche 98 (2009), accurately put Kwangmyongsong-2 into its orbit at 11:29:02, nine minutes and two seconds after its launch.

The satellite is going round the earth along its elliptic orbit at the angle of inclination of 40.6 degrees at 490 km perigee and 1,426 km apogee. Its cycle is 104 minutes and 12 seconds.

Mounted on the satellite are necessary measuring devices and communications apparatuses.

The satellite is going round on its routine orbit.

It is sending to the earth the melodies of the immortal revolutionary paeans "Song of General Kim Il Sung" and "Song of General Kim Jong Il" and measured information at 470 MHz. By the use of the satellite the relay communications is now underway by UHF frequency band.

The satellite is of decisive significance in promoting the scientific researches into the peaceful use of outer space and solving scientific and technological problems for the launch of practical satellites in the future.

Carrier rocket Unha-2 has three stages.

The carrier rocket and the satellite developed by the indigenous wisdom and technology are the shining results gained in the efforts to develop the nation's space science and technology on a higher level.

The successful satellite launch symbolic of the leaping advance made in the nation's space science and technology was conducted against the background of the stirring period when a high-pitched drive for bringing about a fresh great revolutionary surge is under way throughout the country to open the gate to a great prosperous and powerful nation without fail by 2012, the centenary of birth of President Kim Il Sung, under the far-reaching plan of General Secretary Kim Jong Il. This is powerfully encouraging the Korean people all out in the general advance.

North Korea a problem for Obama

By Paul Reynolds
World affairs correspondent, BBC News website

North Korea's launching of a rocket has, despite its apparent failure to put a satellite into orbit, provided a new headache for US President Barack Obama as he formulates his policy towards the unpredictable totalitarian state.

"The launch served a dual function," said Dr John Swenson-Wright of the think-tank Chatham House, who is based in South Korea.

"It would like to have placed a satellite in orbit, but it also wanted to make a successful rocket launch, and initial data suggests that this might have been partially successful."

He says North Korea was flexing its military muscles.

"This was also a political and diplomatic initiative, to show that the leadership is still in control after [President] Kim Jong-il's reported stroke... and it takes advantage of the new American president to strengthen its position.

"Its bottom line is to say: 'We are here and we matter and we act in our national interest'."

In firing the rocket, the North was, in the view of the US and its allies, in violation of UN Security Council resolution 1718.

This, passed in the aftermath of the North's claimed nuclear test in 2006, ordered it not to "conduct any further nuclear test or launch of a ballistic missile" and to "suspend all activities related to its ballistic missile programme".

North Korea was probably trying to get round this provision by claiming that the aim was to launch a satellite.

To save face, it has announced that the satellite is working, beaming out revolutionary songs.

The nature of the launch certainly served the purpose of dividing the Security Council. Russia wondered if the event had even transgressed 1718 and China urged caution anyway. The US and others now want to increase sanctions but these have not worked much up til now and North Korea is not responsive to them.

The reason that the US and the North's neighbours are so concerned is that, if one day North Korea makes a nuclear warhead capable of being carried on a ballistic missile and it develops that missile successfully, it will have become a fully fledged nuclear-armed state.

Headache for Obama

As for the efforts to try to get the North to stop its nuclear weapons development, the ongoing six-party talks on the issue - made up of North Korea, its regional neighbours and the US - are stalled over the question of verifying the shutdown of the Yongbyon plant, including its plutonium plant.

President Obama has recently appointed his special envoy for North Korea, Stephen Bosworth, who is trying to work out how to get the talks restarted and what prospects they have.

"This is a headache for Obama," said John Swenson-Wright. "North Korea is very good at delay and at rewriting previous agreements.

"Its military is probably unhappy at the idea of losing the nuclear resource, so maybe it wants to hang on to it for as long as possible."

The fact is that nobody really knows what the North's ultimate intentions are.

It may want to dodge and weave its way past sanctions and talks, and one day develop a usable nuclear weapon and a missile that could deliver it.

Or it may be content to hold the world's attention while keeping its options open and making concessions here and there, withdrawing them when it feels the need.

President Obama's dilemma is how far to negotiate and how far to threaten. North Korea is a problem that Presidents Clinton and Bush could not solve before him.

Mr Obama does not have an easy task in front of him.
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2009/04/06 11:51:15 GMT

No accord at UN talks on N Korea

An emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council to discuss North Korea's rocket launch has ended without agreement.

As divisions emerged diplomats said the council would continue talks, but it may take days for a deal, analysts say.

Washington and Tokyo are seeking a strong response, but Beijing and Moscow have called for restraint.

Pyongyang says it launched a satellite early on Sunday but its neighbours say it was testing missile technology.

'Clear-cut violation'

The US, South Korea and Japan have all condemned the launch from the Musudan-ri base in the north-east of the communist country.

They say it violates a UN Security Council resolution adopted in October 2006 which bans North Korea from carrying out ballistic missile activity.

Susan Rice, the US envoy to the UN, called Pyongyang's move a "clear-cut violation of [resolution] 17-18", while her Japanese counterpart said Tokyo was seeking a "clear, firm and unified" response.

But, says the BBC's Laura Trevelyan, who is at the UN, countries such as China and Russia disagree.

There was no general agreement at the council on whether North Korea was in breach of the resolution, let alone on whether it should be punished, our correspondent says.

Zhang Yesui, China's envoy to the UN, said that the world should refrain from taking action that might lead to increased tension.

Any action by the Security Council should be "cautious and proportionate", he said.

Given the divisions between the major powers new sanctions seem unlikely, our correspondent says.

So what the US and Japan want is a resolution that reinforces sanctions already in place against Pyongyang; the question is whether China and Russia will even agree to that, she adds.

An agreed position could take several days to emerge.

Missile threat

North Korean state media said that leader Kim Jong-il had visited the General Satellite Control and Command Centre to observe the launch.

It said a communications satellite had been successfully placed in orbit and was transmitting data.

But the US military said that the rocket's payload, along with its booster stages, landed in the Pacific Ocean.

Pyongyang's neighbours are concerned about the potential military use of the launch vehicle, and believe North Korea's real aim was to test the long-range Taepodong-2 missile.

They believe it could put parts of the US within the communist nation's military reach.

North Korea first tested a Taepodong-2 in July 2006. It failed less than a minute after lift-off.

Three months later, Pyongyang carried out a nuclear test.

International talks involving the US, South Korea, Japan, Russia and China on an aid-for-nuclear disarmament deal are currently stalled.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2009/04/06 00:11:12 GMT

China calls for restraint on DPRK launching activity
2009-04-05 13:48:43

BEIJING, April 5 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said here Sunday that China has taken notice of the launching activity by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Sunday morning, and also noticed responses from relevant parties.

"The DPRK earlier announced to launch experimental communications satellite. We have taken notice of the launching activity by the DPRK this morning, and also noticed responses from relevant sides," Jiang said.

"We hope relevant parties to keep calm and restraint, properly handle this issue, and work together to safeguard peace and stability of the region," Jiang said.

"China will continue to play a constructive role for this purpose," the spokeswoman added.

Media reports said the DPRK launched a rocket from a site in northeastern DPRK at 11:30 a.m. local time (0230 GMT) on Sunday. The launch has been confirmed by the governments of Japan, the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the United States.

The UN Security Council will hold an emergency session on Sunday afternoon to discuss the DPRK launch activity. The UN spokesperson's Office told Xinhua that the 15-nation council will start to meet at 15:00 EDT (1900 GMT).

U.S. criticizes DPRK's rocket launch as "provocative act", "appropriate steps" to be taken 2009-04-05 11:08:27

WASHINGTON, April 4 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. State Department confirmed on Saturday that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea launched a rocket at 0230 GMT on Sunday.

"We have had a launch. I don't know the type of missile," U.S. State Department spokesman Fred Lash told reporters on a conference call.

"We look on this as a provocative act," said Lash, adding that the United States will take "appropriate steps" in response to the DPRK's rocket launch.

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