N Korea to launch another satellite in December

Source:Globaltimes.cn Published: 2012-12-2 16:00:00

           Editor's Note 

North Korea announced plans to launch another long-range rocket carrying a second version of its Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite between December 10 and December 22, reported its state news agency KCNA on December 1. 

The scheduled launch is expected to heighten tensions in the region, as the 12-day period not only coincides with the one-year anniversary of the death of former leader Kim Jong Il(December 17), but also Japan’s lower house election on December 16 and the South Korean presidential election on December 19.

           Latest News 

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           Satellite Info 

Name: Kwangmyongsong-3 (second version)
Scheduled Launch Time: between December 10 and December 22
Location: Sohae Space Center in Cholsan County, North Phyongan Province
Carrier Rocket: Unha-3

Korean Committee for Space Technology:satellite launch not to harm region
 The scheduled launch of a satellite by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) will not do harm to the region and neighboring countries.

           Int'l Reactions 

It's the common responsibility and shared interest of all parties concerned to maintain peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula.

China concern about the satellite launch plan of DPRK, and it hoped relevant parties do more conducive to the stability of the Korean Peninsula.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda had ordered the country's ministries to take every possible measure to secure public security, adding he will seek cooperation with the United States, South Korea, Russia and China to stop DPRK's launch plan.

Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto  issued a destroy order to the Self-Defense Forces, requiring them to be prepared for the satellite launch, according to Kyodo.

Japan will postpone talks with DPRK as the latter announced a satellite launch plan.

"A North Korean 'satellite' launch would be a highly provocative act that threatens peace and security in the region…Any North Korean launch using ballistic missile technology is in direct violation of UN Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs) 1718 and 1874," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said  in a written statement.

dSouth Korea
South Korea has expressed deep concern over the issue and demanded the DPRK withdraw its launch plan.

         The Failed Attempt

The DPRK launched a Kwangmyongsong-3 on April 13 to mark the 100th birthday of late DPRK founder Kim Il-Sung. The long-range rocket crashed into the sea after traveling a short distance.

The UN Security Council condemned the launch and demanded that Pyongyang fully comply with relevant resolutions and suspend all activities related to its ballistic missile program.

 Daily Speicials: DPRK rocket falls after launching

 Editorial: After launch flop, N.Korea faces tough choice
In front of the failure, it's possible that internal divergences over the failure may occur and affect the solidarity and cohesion of North Korea's new leadership. 

North Korea had its reasons to conduct the launch. Stricter international sanctions after a successful launch could serve as an excuse for North Korea to conduct a third nuclear test and a successful launch could enable North Korea to gain superiority over South Korea in satellite technology, since the previous launches by South Korea suffered failures. But the reality runs counter to these strategic expectations.

           Launch Review 

The DPRK has been working on launching satellites into outer space with carrier rockets since the 1980s.

August 31, 1998: DPRK announced that it had successfully launched and orbited its Kwangmyongsong-1 satellite from the Musudan-ri launch site in north Hamgyong Province.

The US and South Korea later confirmed the launch but claimed the satellite failed to enter orbit.

April 5, 2009: Pyongyang said it put Kwangmyongsong-2, an experimental communications satellite, into orbit with a three-stage Unha-2 rocket.

The South Korean defense ministry said the satellite failed to enter its intended orbit, while the US military alleged that the DPRK had launched a rocket that crashed into the sea.

However, Russia confirmed that the DPRK launched a low earth-orbit satellite.

April 13, 2012: DPRK confirmed the Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite failed to enter orbit.

Posted in: Asia-Pacific

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