North Korea says it will go ahead with a plan to launch a rocket-powered satellite scheduled for next month despite warnings from the United States and its regional allies.
“We will never give up the right to launch a peaceful satellite,” a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman told the official KCNA news agency on Tuesday.
The spokesman was commenting on US President Barack Obama’s recent remarks made during a visit to South Korea where he promised to break what he called North Korea’s “pattern of provocative behavior.”
Obama said the launch could jeopardize a food-aid deal with Pyongyang and future disarmament talks.
The North Korean official also called on Obama to change his “confrontational mindset” and pointed out that the planned launch is an essential step for the country’s economic development.
The spokesman added that the US president “should have the courage to admit that we have as much right to launch our satellite as other countries do.”
The US and some other countries claim the satellite launch would in fact be a long-range missile test in disguise.
Pyongyang says it is a peaceful project and that it will launch the satellite into space on April 12-16.
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