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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

North Korea Vows to Continue Satellite Launches

RIA Novosti

16:11 20/04/2012 MOSCOW, April 20 (RIA Novosti) - North Korea will continue satellite launches for peaceful purposes, a spokesman for the Korean Committee for Space Technology (KCST) said in a statement a week after a failed launch.

“The DPRK's satellites for peaceful purposes will be put into space one after another,” the statement, posted on Korean Central News Agency’s website, said.

The statement gives no specific launch date.

“We have a comprehensive state plan for space development including expansion and strengthening of space development institutions as required by latest science and technology and continued launch of working satellites needed for the country's economic development,” KCST said.

KCST also said its scientists have completed a probe into the causes of the launch failure, but the statement gave no specific details.

The Unha-3 rocket - which the North said would put a satellite into orbit, but the West described as a cover for a missile technology test - was launched from the country’s northwest early last Friday. The launch was timed to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of the nation's late founding leader Kim Il-sung.

According to officials from U.S., South Korea and Japan, who monitored the launch, the rocket appeared to break apart minutes after blastoff.

The UN Security Council condemned the launch earlier this week and ordered fresh sanctions.

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