Ban renews call on DPR Korea to reconsider planned ‘satellite’ launch

A street scene in Wonsan City, Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). UN Photo/David Ohana

12 April 2012 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today renewed his call on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to reconsider its decision to launch a so-called “application satellite” in a few days time, noting that such action is a clear violation of relevant Security Council resolutions.

Mr. Ban said the decision to carry out the launch, which is to mark the 100th birthday of the country’s late leader, Kim Il-sung, will raise tensions in the region as well as negatively affect DPRK’s relations with its neighbours.

“I once again urge DPRK to heed the call of the international community,” the Secretary-General told a news conference in Geneva, where he is on an official visit.

“I sincerely hope that DPRK will really take reasonable action, becoming a responsible member of the international community,” he added. “If and when the DPRK launches what they say is a satellite, or missile, I believe that Member States will bring this matter to the Security Council.”

He noted that the launch would be a violation of Council resolution 1874 of 2009 which bans “any launch using ballistic missile technology.” That resolution imposed additional sanctions on DPRK after previous demands that the country not conduct any further nuclear or missile tests went unheeded.

Ambassador Susan Rice of the United States, which holds the Council’s rotating presidency for this month, told reporters in New York yesterday that that should the launch occur, the 15-member body will need to “convene and to respond credibly.”

“There is no disagreement among members of the Council that this is a provocative act and an act that the North Koreans should refrain from undertaking and if they don’t, it will be them that are increasingly isolated,” she stated.


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