In the move to demonstrate his power and bend his muscles, North Korea’s young leader Kim Jong Un has decided to carry out the isolated country’s second rocket launch of 2012. Kim’s decision, which came a year after his father’s demise, was condemned by the United States and South Korea.
The decision was announced by North Korea’s state controlled news agency a day following Kim’s meeting with senior Chinese delegation in Pyongyang.
China is North Korea’s only key political supporter and has frequently pushed for peace on the Korean peninsula. China’s Foreign Ministry voiced its concerns after announcement by the North.
“North Korea has a right to the peaceful use of space, but this right has been restricted by UN Security Council resolutions. (China) hopes all sides can do more to benefit peace and stability on the peninsula, and hopes all sides handle it calmly to avoid the situation escalating,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said in a statement, according to The Globe & Mail.
US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland termed the move “provocative” and said it is a threat to the whole of Asia-Pacific region. Nuland condemned the move and said that would violate the United Nations resolutions.
UN resolutions ban North Korea from launching missiles or carrying out activities related to nuclear arms. The bans were imposed on it after its missile test earlier.
North Korea has been insisting that its rockets are used solely to place satellites into orbit for peaceful purpose. However, the international community has repeatedly brushed away those assertions.
According to reports, North Korea has informed its neighboring countries regarding the rocket launch and its flight path. It has been learnt that the rocket’s proposed flight path would take a path similar to that of a rocket which failed in April.
South Korea’s foreign ministry also condemned the North’s plan and said it would be a grave provocation.
Reports suggest that Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda had issued orders to relevant ministries to be on high alert for the rocket launch.
Analysts think that the North wants to convey a message to China that it is a sovereign state and wants to test the waters for the United States hostility towards the North.