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Philippines asks North Korea to abandon satellite launch plan

MANILA -- The Philippine government on Wednesday joined the international community in calling on North Korea to abandon its plan to launch a satellite using ballistic missile technology.
"We express grave concern over the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) announced plan to launch a satellite between April 12 and 16 which we find unacceptable," the Philippines, through the Department of Foreign Affairs, said in a statement. 
Pyongyang has announced the plan to launch a rocket carrying a satellite to mark the centenary of the birth of DPRK founder Kim Il-Sung.
The plan comes a few months after Kim Jong-Il's death in December 2011 caused his son Kim Jong-Un to succeed him as North Korea's supreme leader. 
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has issued Resolution 1874 (2009) making the same explicit demand of North Korea regarding its planned satellite launch. The same resolution, together with UNSC Resolution 1718 (2006), also said DPRK must suspend all activities related to its ballistic missile program. 
"We strongly urge the DPRK not to proceed with its planned launch and abide by these resolutions, which call for the abandonment of its ballistic missile program in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner," the Philippine statement read.  
United States President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in South Korea in an attempt to pressure North Korea from continuing with its plan. Obama will be in Seoul for a  nuclear summit that also includes China, North Korea's ally. 
Last month, North Korea reached an agreement with the US to stop all nuclear tests, uranium enrichment, and long-range missile launches in exchange for food aid.
The Philippines asked North Korea to abide by these commitments. Nevertheless, it said "DRPK’s return to confidence-building and engagement with the international community is key to the continued stability and prosperity of the Korean Peninsula and the entire Asia-Pacific region."
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- | March 21, 2012 | Article Link

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