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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Taiwan `deeply concerned' over North Korean rocket launch

ROC Central News Agency

2012/12/12 18:49:27

Taipei, Dec. 12 (CNA) Taiwan is deeply concerned over North Korea's rocket launch Wednesday, a Taiwanese official said, describing the move as violating U.N. Security Council regulations and undermining regional stability.

'We are concerned and regret North Korea's move,' said Foreign Minister David Lin, hours after reports of Pyongyang's firing of the rocket.

North Korea should heed the international community's response and understand concerns over the matter, Lin said on the sidelines of an award ceremony for an essay competition on the disputed Diaoyutai Islands in the East China Sea.

Any move that increases regional tension is unwelcome, he added.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also issued a statement in which it urged North Korea to abide by regulations passed by the U.N. Security Council and to immediately stop any action that could affect regional security.

U.N. Security Council Resolution 1874, passed in 2009, states that North Korea is restricted from conducting any nuclear tests or any launches using ballistic missile technology.

Countries such as Japan, South Korea and the United States have condemned North Korea's rocket launch, according to foreign reports.

Meanwhile, Legislator Lin Yu-fang of the ruling Kuomintang, said the rocket launch did not pose any threat to Taiwan, as it did not enter Taiwan's territory.

The rocket passed over waters some 200 km east of Taiwan, according to the Ministry of National Defense.

Japan and South Korea had their warships ready for any contingencies in response to the rocket launch, Lin said, but he added that the measures were more of a political gesture and did not have any substantive effect.

Asked by CNA to comment on the launch, Lin said it proves that Pyongyang has the capability of firing long-range ballistic missiles.

North Korea's state-run Korean Central News Agency reported that day that the Unha-3 rocket lifted off from the Sohae Space Center in Cholsan County, North Pyongan Province, carrying the second-generation Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite, which entered a preset orbit.

This was North Korea's second launch of a long-range rocket this year. The previous launch in April ended in failure.

The launch came at a sensitive time -- just one week before South Korea holds a presidential election.

It drew widespread criticism from the international community, with some countries describing it as a disguised ballistic missile test, according to some reports.

(By Elaine Hou)
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