N.Korea Threatens to Stop Announcing Space Rocket Launches

  • By Kim Eun-joong

    June 05, 2023 11:20

    North Korea on Sunday said it will no longer inform the International Maritime Organization of future rocket launch plans after the IMO condemned the latest launch last week. 
    In an op-ed for the North's official Korean Central News Agency, international affairs analyst Kim Myong-chol said, "As IMO responded to the [North's] advance notice on its satellite launch with the adoption of an anti-[North Korea] 'resolution,' we will regard this as its official manifestation of stand that the [North's] advance notice is no longer necessary." 
    The IMO should "be prepared for taking full responsibility for all the consequences to be entailed from it." 
    The day after the North launched the rocket, which crashed into the West Sea, the IMO in a resolution condemned the launch for the first time. 
    "This goes to prove that IMO has been completely politicized, abandoning its original mission of promoting international cooperation in the field of maritime security," Kim said. 
    A space rocket is being fired in Cholsan, North Pyongan Province on May 31, in this photo from the [North] Korean Central News Agency the following day.
    As a member of the IMO since 1986, the North is obligated to comply with all IMO rules, including giving advance notice of no-sail or no-fly zones. Pyongyang has duly notified it whenever it launched purported space rockets even though they violated UN Security Council sanctions.
    Refusing to do so will create a potential shipping hazard and disregards the basic rules of maritime safety.
    Last week, the North also notified international organizations of the planned trajectory and expected drop point, which made it possible for the South Korean military to brace itself for the launch and embark on a search for debris. 
    Meanwhile, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's sister Yo-jong fulminated against the UNSC convening an emergency meeting immediately after the launch.
    "I am very unpleased that the UNSC so often calls to account [North Korea's] exercise of its rights as a sovereign state at the request of the U.S., and bitterly condemn and reject it as the most unfair and biased act of interfering in its internal affairs and violating its sovereignty."
    She added that some 5,000 satellites of various kinds orbit the earth, and it is unfair that North Korea alone should be singled out when it tries to launch one of its own.  
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