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China, Japan media warn of rocket launch provoking N.Korea

China, Japan media warn of rocket launch provoking N.Korea

Posted February. 01, 2013 04:31,   


Chinese and Japanese media have expressed fears over South Korea’s successful launch of its first space rocket Naro, warning that it could further aggravate North Korea into launching armed provocations and even serve as an excuse for the Stalinist state’s third nuclear test.

The major Japanese daily Yomiuri Shimbun said Thursday, “If the world accepts South Korea’s satellite launch, it will be criticized for applying a double standard because North Korea insists that its long-range ballistic missile was a satellite rocket.”

Japanese broadcast network NHK also said, “The United Nations Security Council passed a new resolution criticizing North Korea for its satellite launch last month. The communist country might hit back for the attitude of the international community toward South Korea’s satellite launch, insisting unfair treatment.”

The Global Times, an English-language Chinese newspaper under the People`s Daily, said in an editorial, “The atmosphere surrounding the Korean Peninsula has worsened with the looming prospect of a third nuclear test by North Korea. Under the circumstances, South Korea needs to put off celebration of the successful launch of its satellite.”

The U.S., however, shrugged off the criticism by South Korea`s neighbors. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said, “There is no basis for comparing the rocket programs of South Korea and North Korea. Unlike the North, the South has developed its technology responsibly. On the other hand, any act of launch by Pyongyang is banned under U.N. Security Council resolutions.”

North Korea made no mention of the South Korean launch for the second straight, with a source in Seoul saying, “Pyongyang is apparently calculating the timing and level of response to the satellite launch of Seoul.” The New York Times on Thursday said U.S. authorities are waiting for a nuclear test by North Korea because it will provide a good opportunity to verify if Pyongyang has made significant progress in making a nuclear weapon that could threaten the U.S. mainland. According to the newspaper, assessment results on the North’s nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009 varied but this time will be different. The newspaper reported that Washington has finished preparation to check if Pyongyang has developed uranium-based weapons or small-size warheads.