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China says it has 'taken notice' of N. Korea launch+
[April 05, 2009]

China says it has 'taken notice' of N. Korea launch+

(Japan Economic Newswire Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) BEIJING, April 5_(Kyodo) _ China said Sunday it has taken notice of North Korea's rocket launch, and it urges all parties to maintain restraint over the matter.

"China has taken notice of the launching activity by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea on Sunday morning, and also noticed responses from relevant parties," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said in a statement.

Jiang was referring to North Korea by its official name.

"We wish relevant parties to maintain cool-headedness and restraint, appropriately deal with the situation and jointly maintain regional peace and stability," said the statement, posted on the ministry's website.

China "wants to continue to exercise a constructive role" toward that goal, it continued.

China is North Korea's traditional ally and a major provider of food and energy to the country.

On the purpose of the rocket launch, Jiang said in the statement that North Korea "has announced earlier that it will launch a test communication satellite." Countries such as Japan, South Korea and the United States view the launch as a disguised test of a long-range ballistic missile.

The rocket launched by North Korea flew over Japan late Sunday morning, with its first stage falling off the coast of northeastern Japan and the second stage splashing down in the Pacific Ocean.

(c) 2009 Kyodo News International, Inc.

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