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ASEAN chair appeals to DPRK to postpone rocket launch forever


13:00, December 10, 2012

PHNOM PENH, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) -- Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, chair of the 10-country ASEAN in 2012, appealed on Monday to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to delay its schedule for a rocket launch forever, saying the launch will lead to danger in the world.

"These days, there is a big fear when the DPRK threatened to launch a rocket that some countries believes that it is a missile, but it is reportedly said that because of heavy snow, the DPRK may delay the launch," Hun Sen said during a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a Japan-invested shopping mall.

"In the name of ASEAN chair, I'd like to call on the DPRK to delay the rocket launch forever. The launch has no any advantage; instead, it will bring fear in the region and tension will erupt," he said.

He also urged the DPRK to consider thoroughly it actions, saying that its rocket launch will not only raise concern among Japan, South Korea and the United States, but it will also be a concern for the whole region.

"The act will lead to jeopardy in the world," he said. "I'd like to appeal to the DPRK to exercise utmost restraint and not to do any action that is provocative and against the decision of the United Nations Security Council."

The premier said that he decided to make the verbal call after the ASEAN foreign ministers could not reach a consensus for a joint statement on the issue in the past week.

Hun Sen also urged all parties concerned to return to the six- party talks in order to solve the issue peacefully.

The DPRK said Saturday that the scheduled time for the satellite launch will be readjusted.

"As announced, we are making preparations for the launch of the second version of Kwangmyongsong-3, a scientific and technological satellite, at the final stage," the official news agency KCNA reported, quoting a spokesman for the Korean Committee for Space Technology as saying.

However, the unnamed spokesman added "Our scientists and technicians are now seriously examining the issues of readjusting the launching time of the satellite for some reasons."

The satellite was scheduled to be launched from the Sohae Space Center in Cholsan County, North Phyongan Province, by the Unha-3 carrier rocket between Dec. 10 and Dec. 22.

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