Taiwan urges NKorea to rethink rocket launch

Taiwan urges North Korea to rethink plans to launch a ballistic missile this month and contribute to peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, according to the ROC Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dec. 2.

“We call on Pyongyang to abide by U.N. Security Council Resolution 1874 and respond to concerns of the international community on the matter,” a MOFA official said. “These steps are key to maintaining order on the Korean Peninsula and in East Asia.”

Adopted unanimously by the U.N. Security Council June 12, 2009, in the wake of a North Korean underground nuclear test conducted May 25 the same year, the resolution imposes economic and commercial sanctions on Pyongyang and requires U.N. members stop and search suspicious shipments from the hermit state.

The MOFA statement follows an announcement by North Korea’s state news agency Dec. 1 that Pyongyang-based Korean Committee of Space Technology plans to launch an Eunha-3, or Galaxy, rocket between Dec. 10 and 22. The move is widely seen as a provocative gesture as it coincides with South Korea’s Dec. 19 presidential election.

A similar attempt took place in April marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of North Korea founder Kim Il-sung. But the missile broke up 90 seconds after blastoff, sending debris into the ocean 165 kilometers west of Seoul.

“Taiwan is a responsible stakeholder in the Asia-Pacific region and does not want to see a rise in tensions undermining regional stability,” the official said. “We will continue monitoring the situation and propose all necessary measures to safeguard national interests.”

Meg Chang

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