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China Daily Website

DPRK satellite launch

Updated: 2012-12-13 08:23
( China Daily)

The democratic people's republic of Korea said on Wednesday morning it had successfully sent a satellite into orbit. It is a pity that a chance for diplomatic mediation, which emerged after Pyongyang said on Monday it was extending the launch window, has been lost.

That Pyongyang has proceeded with the launch, disregarding the concerns and simmering opposition of the international community, adds new difficulties for those still keen on pushing diplomatic efforts to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

However, parties that have a stake in peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula should be reminded that overreaction or impetuous moves will only deepen the divide and do a disservice to safeguarding security and working for lasting peace and stability on the peninsula.

Despite Pyongyang's repeated clarifications that it was launching a satellite, the launch, the second this year, has been viewed by the Republic of Korea, Japan and the United States as an attempt to test the country's ballistic missile capabilities.

The DPRK should honor its international obligations and abide by relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions while exercising its right to the peaceful use of space. Its statement that the satellite will be used for peaceful and scientific purposes only and that it will abide by international regulations points to that path.

Yet Pyongyang needs to take into consideration the concerns from the outside world over the tensions that have built up since it announced the launch plan at the beginning of this month. Japan, the US and the ROK were quick to condemn Wednesday's launch, and were later joined by the European Union.

All these show Pyongyang's satellite launch may whip up negative international opinion against it, which could in turn further estrange it from the international community.

As a country shouldering unshirkable responsibilities in maintaining peace and security on the peninsula, the DPRK should understand the best way to enhance and protect its interests is to stay cool-headed, contribute to fostering a conducive milieu for dialogue and return to the negotiating table as soon as possible.

Instead of escalating mistrust and causing animosity, all parties concerned should exercise prudence and restraint and start the process of building trust, as it is the only practical way to break the current impasse.

Concerted efforts should be made to resume the Six-Party Talks, which is the best framework to address security issues on the peninsula.

(China Daily 12/13/2012 page8)

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