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N.K. will continue to launch rockets to place satellites into orbit: report

All News 13:15 January 15, 2017

SEOUL, Jan. 15 (Yonhap) -- North Korea will continue to launch rockets capable of placing satellites into orbit despite objections raised by the international community, the country's largest newspaper said Sunday.

In an article carried by the Rodong Sinmun, an organ of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea, the North claimed that the hostile policy stance of the United States toward the communist country will invariably fail.

It said no matter who objects, Pyongyang will never end its space development program.

The daily said that it is the firm resolve of the country to become the leader in the space exploration field. It then argued that launching rockets will further the well-being of the North Korean people and has nothing to do with ballistic missiles.

"The U.S. has persistently used the United Nations to claim that our rocket launches are to test missiles, but this is not true and distorts its peaceful nature," the paper said.

The U.N. has long banned the North from launching satellite-carrying rockets because it views such launches as tests to check its ability to make long-range missiles. Such missiles could be armed with nuclear warheads.

Most experts point out that there is very little difference in technology that goes into making satellite rockets and missiles.

The latest report comes after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said in his New Year's message that his country has entered the final stage of preparations to test-fire an intercontinental ballistic missile.

yonngong@yna.co.kr
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