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China Daily Website

China urges restraint after DPRK satellite launch

Updated: 2012-04-14 07:27
By Wu Jiao in Pyongyang and Hu Yinan in Beijing ( China Daily)

Failed satellite test by DPRK prompts concern of rising tension on peninsula

China has called for restraint after a failed satellite launch by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea on Friday morning.

The DPRK's official KCNA news agency said the satellite, Kwangmyongsong-3, was launched at 7:38 am on Friday and "failed to enter its preset orbit".

Scientists, technicians and experts were looking into the cause of the failure, it said.

China urges restraint after DPRK satellite launch

ROK residents look toward the DPRK with binoculars at the Unification Observatory near the demilitarized zone separating the two countries in Paju, north of Seoul, on Friday. [Kim Kyung-Hoon / Reuters]

China has expressed concerns over the launch and will continue communication with all sides, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin, adding that ambassadors from Tokyo and Seoul were at the ministry on Friday.

Liu said peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia are the responsibility of all sides, and asked parties to carefully deal with the matter together.

The 15-member United Nations Security Council scheduled an emergency meeting for later Friday.

Meanwhile, Washington said it was suspending plans to contribute food aid to Pyongyang in exchange for a rollback of its nuclear programs.

Regional tension has escalated dramatically since the DPRK's announcement of the satellite launch weeks ago.

But the fact that the DPRK invited up to 200 foreign journalists to cover the event on the ground - a clear, surprisingly high-profile gesture to reflect what it says are peaceful intentions in space - has laid the foundation for a possible shift in diplomacy, said Ruan Zongze, deputy director of the China Institute of International Studies.

"(The failure) is not necessarily a bad thing. There's increased transparency, and that ought to be encouraged," he said.

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