With Rocket Launch, South Korea Escalates Tension on Korean Peninsula

Shortly after the sanction of the United Nations against the DPRK’s launch of Kwangmyongsong-3, the launch of KSLV-1 by South Korea naturally leads to the question: why is South Korea allowed to do it, but not the DPRK?

The Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1 (KSVL-1), also known as Naro, blasts off from the Naro Space Center, located 480 kilometers south of Seoul, Jan. 30, 2013. South Korea successfully launched a space rocket in its third attempt to put a satellite into space on Wednesday.

The Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1 (KSVL-1), also known as Naro, blasts off from the Naro Space Center, located 480 kilometers south of Seoul, Jan. 30, 2013. South Korea successfully launched a space rocket in its third attempt to put a satellite into space on Wednesday.

People’s Daily

South Korea’s first space rocket Korean Space Launch Vehicle (KSLV-1), also known as Naro, successfully lifted off at Naro Space Center in South Korea on Jan. 30, 2013. Yonhap said South Korea plans to complete the independent research and development of Korean three-stage rocket in 2018–2019.

Backstage considerations

KSLV-1 was launched twice previously and both ended up with failure. The two launching plans last year were also cancelled because of technical fault. The launch on Jan. 30 was “one last shot” which finally succeeded.

Cui Zhiying, director of Korean Peninsula Research Office of the Asia-Pacific Research Center of Tongji University said that pertaining to foreign affairs, the launch of KSLV-1 was stimulated by the launch of Unha-3 rocket by the DPRK, but at the same time gave the latter an excuse to maintain the justification for its launching.

Internally, Pang Zhihao, space expert, executive editor of the International Space magazine said the launch of KSLV-1 has also brought about a lot of gains to South Korea. In politics, it is helpful to improve its international status and national cohesion; economically, KSLV-1 is alleged to have brought South Korea 2 trillion won of output. Finally, it laid an important foundation for the development of medium-range missiles since the rocket technology to launch a satellite can be transformed into ballistic missile technology.

Possible influences

Pang Zhihao said South Korea’s rocket technology is still at primary level and does not pose a threat to other countries. It mainly influences the DPRK but may give rise to a competition situation on the peninsula.

Gong Keyu, deputy director of Asia-Pacific Research Center of Shanghai Institute of International Studies said the DPRK may protest against the launch of KSLV-1 but in fact, the rocket technology of South Korean still lags behind that of the DPRK. Shortly after the sanction of the United Nations against the DPRK’s launch of Kwangmyongsong-3, the launch of KSLV-1 by South Korea naturally leads to the question: why is South Korea allowed to do it, but not the DPRK? This may lead to the alternating upgrade of the situation on the peninsula.

According to some other analysis, the lift of KSLV-1 may be regarded as a new round of provocation by the DPRK, who might even be so angered as to accelerate the process of its third nuclear test.


The Hypocrisy of US-Engineered Hysteria Over DPRK Satellite

Karl G. Ombion
SunStar (Philippines)

ANOTHER classic US-triggered mass hysteria against a small country that has resisted to submit to US hegemonistic rule.

On 16 March 2012, North Korea announced that it would launch an earth observation satellite named Kwangmyongsong (Lodestar) 3, aboard an Unha carrier rocket sometime between the hours of 7 am and noon on a day between 12 and 16 April, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of its state founder, Kim Il Sung, and the attainment of “strong and prosperous” status by the country.

The launch from a base in the north of the country close to the border with China would be pointed south, dropping off its first phase rocket into the Yellow Sea about 160 kilometers to the southwest of South Korea’s Byeonsan peninsula and the second into the ocean about 140 kilometers east of Luzon in the Philippines.

Due notice of the impending launch was issued to the appropriate international maritime, aviation and telecommunication bodies (IMO, ICAO and ITU) and, to mark the occasion, North Korea announced that it would welcome scientific observers and journalists. The 15 April date, in the 100th year according to the calendar of North Korea, has long been declared a landmark in the history of the state, and the launch seems designed to be its climactic event.

Why so much fuss about North Korean’s satellite launch?

Many satellites, military and civil, are launched every year. The US has three of the stationary variety in operation. Russia, Japan, Europe, China and India also operate geostationary satellites, joined in July 2010 by South Korea. Japan conducts fairly regular launches from its Tanegashima space station site, and devotes some of its information gathering capacity to spying on North Korea.

Australian National University emeritus Professor Govan Mccormack said that satellites, of whichever type, are a mark of advanced scientific status and economic development. As a country that especially in recent years has suffered from acute weather irregularities, presumed due to global warming, and is surrounded by satellite-operating states, North Korea has a strong interest in itself joining the select company, both for motives of pride and face as well as for scientific and economic reasons.

He also said that a covert military purpose, development of intercontinental ballistic missile capacity, may be assumed, since the rocketry is virtually the same, only the load and the trajectory differ; but this is true of all satellite-launching countries. North Korea became a signatory to the Outer Space treaty (of 1966) in 2009, and now protests that it alone of the world’s nations cannot be denied the universal right to the scientific exploration of space simply because of that convergence of civil and military technology.

Obviously, the North Korean nuclear problem is the making of US imperialism to cover up its own vast and in fact the biggest possessor of nuclear and satellite weapons of mass destruction. It assumes that it is North Korea that is irrational, aggressive, nuclear obsessed and dangerous, and the US that is rational, globally responsible, and reacting to North Korean excesses. To thus shrink the frame of the problem is to ignore the matrix of a century’s history-colonialism, division, half a century of Korean War, Cold War as well as nuclear proliferation and intimidation-all led by US imperialism.

As a student of international politics, I fully agree with Govan’s observation that US assumption that what it describes as “the North Korean nuclear weapons program” can be dealt with while ignoring the unfinished issues of the Korean War and the Cold War, and even of Japanese imperialism.

Although North Korea is widely regarded as an “outlaw state” and held in contempt by much of the world, it has not in the past 50 years launched any aggressive war, overthrown any democratically elected government, threatened any neighbor with nuclear weapons, torn up any treaty, or attempted to justify the practices of torture and assassination. It is the US government that has since World War II been the aggressive, militarist hegemon, showing contempt for international law, and the author of several wars of aggression against countries that resist US hegemony, as in Indo-China, Vietnam, Japan, Philippines, central American countries, and in recent times, against Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, Libya and now Syria and Iran.

Although there is no doubt that North Korea is facing a lot of economic and political problems, there is little basis for the view that it poses a threat of regional aggression. Obsessed with security and the search for an absolute guarantee of immunity from attack by its enemies, it has become a kind of “porcupine state,” resisting foreign bodies by stiffening its quills, rather than expanding or rampaging.

While the world’s attention focused on whatever might be about to happen on the North Korean launch-pad, huge US and South Korean war games, rehearsals for war, were taking place just off North Korean shores.  To Pyongyang, that was provocation, just as to Japan and the US, its April launch was provocation.

Prof. Govan is right in saying that the North Korean state, since its founding in 1948, had constantly faced the concentrated efforts of the global superpowers to isolate, impoverish, and overthrow it. Not of its choosing, it is left with nothing but to develop its internal capacity to stand up against them and defend its sovereignty by all means.

If the Pnoy administration is not careful with this squid tactics of US, it will find itself one day already dragged to another dirty, bloody and costly US-led NATO war of aggression cum “humanitarian wars” in Asia.

To my colleagues in the media and political observers, don’t ride on the hysteria. Don’t take US officials and embassy operatives’ propaganda hook, line and sinker. They are masterful in the art of propaganda and psywar. Do some serious critical research before attempting to make comments or analysis.

UN Chief Sides With Imperialists Against North Korea

Editor’s Note: The United States has already launched two satellites this year, and launched three reconnaissance satellites last year. So any criticism of DPRK’s earth observation satellite is, unsurprisingly, hypocritical and aimed at destabilizing the North.


Pyongyang, March 28 (KCNA) — UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was reported to make absurd remarks over the issue of the DPRK’s planned launch of satellite Kwangmyongsong-3.

Ban said he was “seriously concerned” about a plan of the north “to fire a missile,” “it threatens peace and security of the Korean Peninsula” and that he urged the north “to reconsider its decision in line with its recent undertaking to refrain from long-range missile launches”.

This is unbecoming to his post as the UN chief.

It is beyond any doubt that the launch of Kwangmyongsong-3 strictly in line with international regulations and practices will demonstrate the dignity and might of the Korean nation before the whole world and make a positive contribution to the worldwide development of space and scientific research.

Ban Ki-moon as a compatriot should have hailed the DPRK’s satellite launch for peaceful purposes. But he sympathized with the anti-DPRK policies of the hostile forces, including the U.S. and Japan. This is, from every angle, an act of besmirching the face of the UN whose life and soul is impartiality.

What should not be overlooked is that he asserted the DPRK’s satellite launch is a violation of the UNSC “resolution.”

UNSC “resolution 1874” is a product of a despicable plot hatched as a result of the illegal high-handed action of the U.S. which denied the legitimate right of the sovereign DPRK to launch satellites and the UNSC which followed it.

This lacks any ground in view of international law and is based on enmity, inveterate rejection of a country having a social system different from theirs and high-handed and arrogant thought that a small country must obey a big power.

He must know this and if he is not aware of this, his qualifications are doubtful.

Had the DPRK done as claimed by him, it would have never been able to get any chance to exercise the right to launch a satellite and use space though other countries are free to do so.

Precisely for this reason the DPRK categorically rejected the UNSC “resolutions” after the UNSC adopted them in wanton violation of the sovereignty of the DPRK in the past.

The anti-DPRK “resolutions”, which the U.S. and other hostile forces use as cards for pressuring the DPRK, were adopted at the UN in violation of international law. Ban Ki-moon is also to blame for them.

It was the application of double standards in the development and use of space that the UN adopted a “resolution” over the issue of the DPRK’s satellite launch.

Many countries of the world have put different kinds of satellites into space since mankind embarked upon the road of conquering space. But none of them were criticized at the UN.

For example, the U.S., which is terming the DPRK’s projected satellite launch a “grave provocation,” put all kinds of satellites including military ones into space, threatening peace and security of the world. But none of them were brought up for discussion. The same can be said of satellite launches by Japan, south Korea and other allies of the U.S.

If the UN secretary general is to properly perform his mission and role, he is required, above all, to take an impartial approach and accurately confirm, to begin with, what is true, instead of taking a biased attitude, listening to one side’s assertion.

The DPRK’s launch of working satellite is an exercise of independent and legitimate right in line with the universally accepted international law on the peaceful use of space including the Outer Space Treaty reflecting the unanimous will of the international community which stands higher than the UNSC resolution.

The DPRK will as ever never allow any action to infringe upon its dignity and sovereignty in the international arena.