North Korea Rejects World Leaders’ Call to Give Up Launch
Despite widespread international condemnation, North Korea yesterday said it will “never give up” its long-range rocket launch scheduled for next month.
“We will never give up the peaceful satellite launch as an essential requirement to boost the nation’s economy and a right of a sovereign nation,” North Korea’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement yesterday.
“Marking the 100th anniversary of comrade Kim Il Sung’s birth, blasting off a working satellite is the legacy of Gen. Kim Jong-il and ordinary business that has been arranged and carried out for a long time,” the statement read. “[The United States] should quit the idea of battling with us to block our way and have the courage to respect the fact that we also have the right to launch a satellite just like any others.”
In the neighboring South, the world’s superpowers agreed on stopping North Korea’s plan to launch a satellite that is widely seen as a test of long-range missile technology. The regime’s closest ally, China’s President Hu Jintao, also urged the North to halt the launch and focus on people’s livelihoods instead at a bilateral summit with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak.