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DPRK warns it may leave six-party talks

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea warned yesterday that it would leave the six-party talks aimed at ending its nuclear weapons program if the United States and Japan intercept its satellite-equipped rocket.

The DPRK said an interception of its rocket, which was part of a peaceful space program of the DPRK, would ruin the foundation of the six-nation talks.

That's because the United States and Japan would have denied the right of the DPRK to develop space for peaceful purposes and violated its sovereignty under the name of the United Nations, the official KCNA news agency cited a Foreign Minister spokesman as saying.

It is a legitimate right for every country to develop a peaceful space program, the spokesman said.

He blasted Washington and Tokyo's attempts to impose UN sanctions on his country's satellite launch. The spokesman also noted that US and Japanese allegations that the technology of a satellite- equipped rocket and long-range missile is similar lacked common sense.

These countries' attempts to submit the DPRK satellite issue to the UN was in violation of the spirit of "mutual respect and equality" stated in the 2005 six-party talks statement, the spokesman said, adding that the US and Japan would take the responsibility for ruining the six-party talks.

The DPRK has informed the international community of its plan to launch a satellite between April 4 and 8, as some Western countries continue to suspect the operation is a cover for the test-firing of a long-range ballistic missile.


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