North Korea Refusing to Scrap Missile Launch

Posted April 3rd, 2012 at 5:40 am (UTC-5)
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North Korea's nuclear envoy says Pyongyang will still proceed with this month's scheduled rocket launch, despite lengthy meetings with U.S. officials in Germany this week.

Ri Gun arrived in the Chinese capital city Tuesday from Germany, as international tensions increase over the planned launch.

Pyongyang says the launch is aimed to place a weather satellite in orbit, but the U.S., South Korea and other nations believe the North will test a long-range missile. Ri Gun says the two sides had a “natural, in-depth” discussion, but says the North still has the right to carry out the launch.

“We will exercise our universal rights. I told them not to look at the satellite launch for the development of space from a confrontation aspect and advised them to take an objective and fair position to understand the peaceful goal of our artificial satellite.''

Pyongyang says it will launch the satellite to mark the upcoming 100th birthday of North Korean founder Kim Il Sung.