News / Asia

    China Calls for 'Moderate' Response to North Korean Rocket Launch

    Women walk past a picture of the new North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un outside the North Korean Embassy in Beijing December 12, 2012.
    Women walk past a picture of the new North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un outside the North Korean Embassy in Beijing December 12, 2012.
    VOA News
    China has reiterated that any U.N. response to North Korea's rocket launch should be "prudent and moderate," after the U.S. urged Beijing to pressure Pyongyang to adhere to its international obligations.
     
    Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Thursday the response should be conducive to maintaining peace and stability on the Korean peninsula, and it should avoid escalating tensions.
     
    China is North Korea's top ally and largest trading partner, and supplies the impoverished country with crucial humanitarian aid.
     
    On Wednesday, the U.S. urged China to exert its influence on Pyongyang, during a meeting between U.S. senior defense official James Miller and Chinese General Qi Jianguo.  The White House has called the launch a "highly provocative act" that threatens regional security.
     
    Wednesday's launched prompted a wave of international criticism from countries including China.  The U.N. Security Council said the launch violated resolutions banning Pyongyang from carrying out missile or nuclear tests.
     
    North Korea says it fired the long-range rocket with the intention of putting a weather satellite into orbit.
     
    On Thursday, South Korea said the satellite carried by the rocket is orbiting the Earth normally, but noted it is working to learn if the satellite is functioning properly.
     
    Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said Seoul does not know what kind of mission the satellite is conducting.  But he denounced the launch as a disguised ballistic missile test.
     
    Kim also said the launch shows North Korea is closer to developing the technology needed to fire an intercontinental ballistic missile.
     
    "A nuclear warhead weighs about 650 kilograms. [To have the full capability to launch an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile - ICBM], North Korea needs to concentrate on putting more effort into increasing weight on board.  Like I mentioned yesterday, another type of technology is needed when the missile re-enters the earth's atmosphere.  I think North Korea will try to develop those technologies.  We have analyzed that the North already has a large portion of the technology required to complete this successfully," he said. 
     
    The U.S. military has confirmed "an object" appeared to reach orbit, but says it is working to determine the nature of the device and whether it is successfully communicating with North Korea.
     
    The U.N. Security Council has imposed two rounds of sanctions against North Korea, following nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009.  After a failed North Korean rocket launch in April, the council ordered foreign assets seized from several North Korean companies linked to financing and procuring weapons and missile technology.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: chuckrocks
    December 14, 2012 2:12 AM
    China is North Korea's top alley and largest trading partner. Does this bother anyone else? Attention Walmart shoppers. China's secret to low prices revealed, political prisoner labor.

    by: Schneider from: B.R.Deutschland
    December 14, 2012 2:12 AM
    For me, China mainland (PRC) and North Korea look like "brothers of Evil" of this world. How nice this world would be, when these two countries would disappear! The regimes of these countries are starving their nationals to death, spending much money like water in expanding their military instead of supplying food to them. May God penalize these regimes!
    In Response

    by: Jonathan Huang from: canada
    December 14, 2012 8:37 AM
    Schneider, really? how can that brings those dead innocent civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan back to life??
    May be you should add one more country on your list death list, yes the USA!

    by: Anonymous
    December 13, 2012 10:51 PM
    north korea has no right to use philippine airspace as a testing ground for their nuclear experiment. it creates fear among the populace. if they want to test whatever weapons they have, it should be on their soil, and airspace, in other words in their own territory. asean needs a unified action to protest the inappropriate move of pyongyang.
    In Response

    by: Ian from: USA
    December 14, 2012 10:54 AM
    I agree with you.
    If China thinks it is ok for North Korea do this , let the North Korea uses China air space for experiment .
    In fact It is despicable that China playing game likes this, using North Korea problems as a negotiation tool & haggling price with the US & the world .
    I hope one day North Korea turns face and use the weapons on China itself.
    China should know that it is raising a Pit-bull to bother the neighbors, one day that Pit-bull may tear at China's own throat .

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