The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Wednesday said it has successfully sent a satellite into orbit.
Pyongyang proceeded with the launch despite concerns expressed by some countries, notably South Korea, Japan and the United States.
Like other nations, the DPRK has the right to conduct peaceful exploration of the outer space.
However, Pyongyang should also abide by relevant UN Security Council resolutions, including Resolution 1874, which demands the DPRK not to conduct "any launch using ballistic missile technology" and urges it to "suspend all activities related to its ballistic missile programme."
Despite Pyongyang's repeated clarifications, the latest satellite launch was seen by South Korea, Japan and the United States as an attempt to test the DPRK's ballistic missile capabilities.
This testifies to a dangerous lack of trust between the DPRK and those countries.
For years, the situation on the peninsula seems to have entered a reinforcing loop of misunderstanding, mistrust and animosity. The only viable way begins with trust-building.
Under the highly-charged circumstances of the moment, all parties concerned should stay cool-headed and refrain from stoking the flames so as to prevent the situation from spiraling out of control.
Additionally, in place of bellicose rhetoric and gestures, they need to take concrete actions to foster a conducive milieu for dialogue and return to the negotiating table as soon as possible.
In particular, genuine efforts should be made to resume the six-party talks, so far the most practical approach to reducing tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
In international relations, as in life, the best way to make an enemy of a country is to treat it like one. This rule of thumb is also true with making friends.