N. Korea defends space development as 'legitimate right'

(MENAFN- Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) TOKYO, Dec 25 (KUNA) -- North Korea on Monday defended its push for space development as a "legitimate" exercise of its rights, sparking speculation that it may continue to stage missile provocations, the Seoul-based Yonhap News Agency reported.

"Our satellite launch is a legitimate exercise of the right that thoroughly fits the UN Charter that enshrines the basic rights of respect for sovereignty and equality, and the international law that governs the peaceful use of space," said the Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the North's ruling Workers' Party, which was monitored in Seoul. The newspaper claimed that with its launch of the satellite in February last year, Pyongyang has "in earnest" entered the stage of developing application satellites.

Enumerating foreign cases such as space development launches by Algeria and Venezuela, the paper said that space development has become a domain for international competition that involves not only a few advanced countries, but also many others. "Our country is also in step with the trends of space development that is taking place broadly across the world," it said The paper went on to say that the North would continue to push for its "peaceful" space development to "help contribute to the dreams and ideals of mankind." It has recently repeatedly mentioned its policy of peaceful space development, spawning concerns that Pyongyang could continue missile tests on the pretext of space research. (end) mk.hb


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