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Backgrounder: Previous DPRK satellite launches

04-10-2012 09:13 BJT Special Report:DPRK’s Rocket Launch |

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The DPRK's space missions have consistently drawn international attention. The DPRK has already attempted what it says were two satellite launches.

On August 31, 1998, Pyongyang announced it had launched the Kwangmyongsong-One satellite, on a Baekdu Mountain-1 rocket. But the US and South Korea believed it was actually a Taepodong-1 intercontinental missile.

Kwangmyongsong-One weighed only 42 kilograms.

The US says it failed to reach the target orbit, as the rocket had exploded over the Pacific Ocean.

On April 4th, 2009, The DPRK announced that its Unha-2 rocket had put the Kwangmyongsong-Two into orbit.

Again there was an international outcry, but Pyongyang defended its right to space exploration.

Some experts, after examining the photos, said judging from the shape, the Unha-2 did carry a satellite.

The South Korean foreign ministry agreed. But the US insisted it was a missile, and went to the UN Security Council.

The Security Council condemned the launch, saying it violated Resolution 1718 on Non-proliferation. It warned of the danger of war-head carriers. The resolution was made in 2006, after the DPRK conducted its first nuclear test.

Later, the DPRK pulled out of the Six-Party talks and suspended cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency.


Editor:Liu Fang |Source: CNTV.CN

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