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UN chief deplores DPRK rocket launch
[December 12, 2012]

UN chief deplores DPRK rocket launch

UNITED NATIONS, Dec 12, 2012 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday deplored Pyongyang's rocket launch, calling the move a clear violation of a UN Security Council resolution.

"The secretary-general deplores the rocket launch announced by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)," said a statement issued by his spokesman.

"It is all the more regrettable because it defies the unified and strong call from the international community," the statement said.

"It is a clear violation of Security Council resolution 1874 (adopted in2009), in which the Council demanded that the DPRK not conduct any launch using ballistic missile technology," it said.

The DPRK's official KCNA news agency said Wednesday that the country had launched and orbited an earth observation satellite.

According to the KCNA, a Unha-3 rocket carrying a 2nd generation Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite blasted off from the Sohae Space Center in Cholsan county, North Phyongan province, at 09:49 local time (0049 GMT).

The satellite entered its preset orbit 9 minutes and 27 seconds after lift-off, and started a polar orbit.

"The secretary-general has been urging the leadership in Pyongyang not to carry out such a launch and instead to build confidence with its neighbors while taking steps to improve the lives of its people," the statement said.

"The secretary-general is concerned about the negative consequences that this provocative act may have on peace and stability in the region," it said.

"The secretary-general is in close touch with the governments concerned ... He takes this opportunity to reaffirm his commitment to working for peace and stability on the Korean peninsula," it said.

Wednesday's launch marks the DPRK's second bid this year to put a satellite into orbit, which the United States and its key Asian allies call a disguised ballistic missile test. South Korea has expressed "grave concern" over the plan, and Japan pledged to shoot down the rocket if it threatened its territory.

Pyongyang, whose previous attempt in April ended in failure, said its "polar-orbiting earth observation satellite" is for peaceful scientific purposes only.

South Korea, along with the United States and Japan, has called for a meeting of the Security Council in response to the latest launch, the Yonhap news agency reported Wednesday.

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