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China Daily Website

China works to ease tension over satellite launch

Updated: 2012-03-21 07:11
By Zhao Shengnan and Zhou Wa ( China Daily)

Pyongyang's plan sparks concern over long-range missile program

China is continuing efforts to ease tension in the Korean Peninsula over the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's planned satellite launch next month, which has sparked widespread concern about the country's long-range missile technology.

China has conveyed its concerns over the launch and maintained close communication with the DPRK, the United States, the Republic of Korea, Japan and Russia, Director-General of the Department of Asian Affairs of the Foreign Ministry Luo Zhaohui said on Tuesday.

Pyongyang announced on Friday that its Unha-3 rocket carrying the Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite will blast off from its satellite launching station in western DPRK between April 12 and 16 to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il-sung, the DPRK's founder and grandfather of current leader Kim Jong-un.

According to Japan News Network, Tokyo has received a detailed launch schedule from the International Maritime Organization.

The satellites will pass Okinawa prefecture of Japan, which has ordered its Ground Self Defense Force to prepare for a counterattack, the network reported on Monday.

China has expressed its stance and concerns to all sides, and urged them to keep calm, Luo said, adding that the peace and stability of the DPRK is in all sides' interests.

Luo also called on the US and the DPRK to honor the agreement they reached on Feb 29, calling it the "dawn of peace" on the Korean Peninsula.

Pyongyang agreed to suspend long-range missile tests in return for 240,000 tons of nutritional aid from the US - a deal that Pyongyang insists remains in effect.

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