Thursday, 24 January 2013

NORTH KOREA: ''Rocket launches'': Refuses to bend on its plans

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Thursday vowed to conduct more rocket launches and a higher-level nuclear test targeting its "sworn enemy" -- the United States.

In a statement carried by the KCNA news agency, the National Defense Commission criticized the resolution adopted Tuesday by the UN Security Council to condemn the country's recent satellite launch.

"We do not hide that a variety of satellites and long-range rockets will be launched and a nuclear test of higher level will be carried out in the upcoming new phase of the anti-U.S. struggle, targeting against the U.S., the sworn enemy of the Korean people," the statement said.

The commission also declared that "there will no longer exist the six-party talks and the Sept. 19 joint statement," as "the UN Security Council has been reduced into an organization bereft of impartiality and balance."

"We will launch an all-out action to foil the hostile policy toward the DPRK being pursued by the U.S. and those dishonest forces following the U.S., and safeguard the sovereignty of the country and the nation," it said.

"No dialogue on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula will be possible in the future even though there may be dialogues and negotiations on ensuring peace and security in the region including the Korean Peninsula."

The 15-member UN Security Council on Tuesday unanimously approved Resolution 2087 which requires the DPRK to comply with all relevant resolutions approved by the Security Council and not to use ballistic missile technology for any launch.

It also reiterated to seek a peaceful, diplomatic and political solution to the issues concerned and advocated the renewal of the six-party talks over the denuclearization issue on the Korean Peninsula.
On Dec. 12 last year, the KCNA confirmed that the DPRK launched and orbited the second version of the Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite. After the launch, the DPRK has defended its right to launch satellites for peaceful and scientific purposes.

The North was banned from developing missile and nuclear technology under sanctions dating from its 2006 and 2009 nuclear tests. First tests used plutonium, were detonated underground and had limited success. This time around, the international concern is that Pyongyang may use highly-enriched uranium and get better results.

There is no clear indication of an imminent nuclear test, observers say. However, satellite photos recently taken at North Korea's underground nuclear test site in the far northeast showed continued activity that suggested a state of readiness even in winter.

North Korea has enough weapons-grade plutonium for about four to eight bombs, according to nuclear scientist Siegfried Hecker, who visited North Korea's nuclear complex in 2010. In 2009, Pyongyang also declared that it would begin enriching uranium, which would give North Korea a second way to make atomic weapons.

By Guylain Gustave Moke
Blogger.com/AFP

Photo Credit AFP