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DPRK to show peaceful nature of satellite launch plan: KCNA

(Xinhua)

09:46, March 29, 2012

PYONGYANG, March 28 (Xinhua) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) would demonstrate to the world "the peaceful nature" of its planned satellite launch, the official KCNA news agency quoted a space program official as saying Wednesday.

The DPRK's decision to invite foreign experts and reporters to watch the satellite launch had "manifested the satellite's peaceful and scientific nature," a deputy director of the Space Development Department of the Korean Committee for Space Technology told KCNA.

He said the invited experts and journalists would see the satellite and its carrier rocket, Unha-3, at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station, as well as the preparation site in the General Launch Command Center.

They would also visit the General Satellite Control and Command Center in Pyongyang and witness the launch process, he said.

The unnamed official also said the satellite was equipped with a video camera to assess the country's forests distribution and natural resources, and to transmit the data back to earth.

The 100kg Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite is planned to be launched between April 12 and 16 to celebrate the centenary birth anniversary of the DPRK's late president Kim Il Sung.

However, the plan has raised serious concern among the international community.

While meeting U.S. President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the nuclear security summit in the South Korean capital of Seoul, Chinese President Hu Jintao said China was concerned and worried about the latest development on the Korean Peninsula, and called upon all parties concerned to exercise calm and restraint and to properly solve related issues through diplomatic and peaceful means so as to maintain peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia.

The DPRK said on Feb. 29 it would suspend nuclear tests, long-range missile launches and uranium enrichment activities as part of an agreement made with the United States in exchange for U.S. food assistance.

However, Obama said at the Seoul summit it would be difficult to provide food aid if Pyongyang proceeded with the launch plan.

The DPRK has reaffirmed it will "strictly abide by relevant international regulations" and accused countries opposed to the launch of continuing "double standards" and a "hostile policy" toward Pyongyang.

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