This article was contributed to NK News by the DPRK’s Institute for Disarmament and Peace, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and has been split into two parts. Click here to read part one.
Several of the purported facts and opinions within are not those of NK News but are representative of North Korea.
The North Korean state media custom of lower-casing the first letters in “north” and “south” Korea – reflecting the view that they are legitimately one nation – has been maintained.
This article was originally titled “The U.S. nuclear threat to and encroachment upon the sovereignty of the DPR Korea is the root cause of the aggravation of situation on the Korean Peninsula,” but was shortened for brevity.
Space development is becoming the global trend nowadays. The competition in the field of developing in space for peaceful purpose is getting more and more intense with the participation of many countries. A new era of space development with the participation of many countries is being unfolded, putting an end to the outdated times when space development was in the hands of only a few developed countries. Everyone recognizes the truth that space technology will promote not only the overall development of science and technology but also economic growth. Many countries are manufacturing and launching the satellites for the purpose of communication, locating positions, harvest yield assessments, meteorological observation, resource surveys, etc.
As a matter of fact, space is becoming the essential part of people’s daily lives as the space development projects like the construction of space factories, solar energy power plant, space travel and moon expeditions are turning into reality. Nowadays, satellite launches and space development have become commercialized businesses and satellite launches are recognized to be a high-profit industry. According to the research survey conducted by international research institutes, a $1 investment in the space industry can lead to the profit of $7-12 in returns, and the total sum of space marketing on a worldwide scale will increase from the current sum of $300-400 billion to $1.5 trillion by 2030.
It has become the unanimous desire of all the countries in the world and their trend for national development to make effective use of space for peaceful purposes through manufacturing and launching of satellites, which symbolize the pinnacle of modern science and technology as well as national strength. It is natural and just for the DPRK to follow and join the global trend. Satellite launches by the DPRK is work towards aerospace developments for peaceful purposes. The DPRK has dynamically followed the path of aerospace development for peaceful purposes in conformity with the global trend. The goal put forward by the DPRK is to create its own space industry relying on its own economic strength, resources, science and technology. Aerospace development in our country had started in the 1980s. After long research on the satellite and its carrier rocket relying on our own strength and technology, our scientists and technicians made a great success of launching the first pilot satellite Kwangmyongsong-1 into orbit on the very first try in August 1998.
This was the first actual test conducted in the real space environment by launching the satellite with the carrier rocket manufactured by ourselves. On the basis of the test and observation results, 10-year-long research work had been conducted with vigor for the purpose of placing national space science and technology on a higher level and as a result rapid development was achieved in the field of satellite launching, and preparations were made to launch the pilot communication satellite Kwangmyongsong-2 with the carrier rocket Unha-2 for the second time. On March 11, 2009, we informed the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) of necessary information regarding the satellite launch in keeping with the relevant international regulations and the satellite was successfully launched into the orbit from the Donghae satellite launching site on April 5.
A three-stage carrier rocket worked properly, leading to the successful performance of telemetering devices, orbit measuring devices, transmitters installed on the satellite, orbit tracking indicators and the remote receiving apparatuses deployed on the ground also work properly. We accumulated ample experience through the analysis of survey data sent from the satellite, through the manipulation and changing of the operating status of the satellite, testing of relay-communications via satellite, and made big strides in the DPRK’s activities for space development by laying the firm scientific and technological guarantee for the launch of practical satellites.
The third satellite was launched in April 2012. Unlike the two previous satellites which went round the inclined orbit, the third satellite was an earth observation satellite going around the polar orbit. After that, our scientists and technicians demonstrated the overall national strength and the might of science and technology of the DPRK by putting the artificial earth satellite the Kwangmyongsong-3-2 into orbit correctly on December 12, 2012. Installed in the Kwangmyongsong-3-2 were measuring equipment and communications equipment for the observation of earth. On February 7, 2016, our scientists and technicians launched the newly developed earth observation satellite Kwangmyongsong-4 and put it into the orbit successfully.
Our satellite launch this year has been conducted in accordance with the Year 2016 Plan of the 5-Year Plan for National Aerospace Development.
Now the satellite Kwangmyongsong-4, which is following the polar orbit as planned, has transmitted the pictures taken as directed from the ground control and conducted the transmission of digital information between the relay stations on the ground, thus preparing itself for observation of the earth through various control. The practical satellite Kwangmyongsong-4 will transmit the information really needed for the development of the national economy like weather forecasts, harvest yield assessments, natural disaster monitoring and so on. In the meantime, we have readjusted the laws in a way to promote space development, worked out a detailed plan and consolidated the infrastructure and acceded to the international treaties on space.
On April 1, 2013, the Space Development Law of the DPRK was adopted, and according to the decision of the Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA), the National Aerospace Development Administration (NADA) of the DPRK was established as the central institution which gives unified guidance and manages the supervision and control over formulation and implementation of space development programs. We have the National Prospective Plan for the Aerospace Development and also a 5-Year Plan for its implementation. The National Prospective Plan for the Aerospace Development includes launching and regular operation of practical satellites for the purpose of telecommunication, exploration of natural resources, weather forecast that are essentially needed to develop the national economy as soon as possible.
Our satellite launch this year has been conducted in accordance with the Year 2016 Plan of the 5-Year Plan for National Aerospace Development. To further accelerate the space development for peaceful purposes, we constructed the Sohae Space Center in Cholsan County, North Phyongan Province in 2012 and the General Satellite Control Centre of the National Aerospace Development Administration (NADA) on May 2, 2015. In order to promote international trust and strengthen cooperation in the field of the space science research and satellite launches, we have acceded to the Treaty on the Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and other Celestial Bodies on March 5, 2009 and to the Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space on March 10, 2009.
The DPRK acceded to the agreement on the rescue of astronauts, the return of astronauts and the return of objects launched into outer space and the convention on international liability for damage caused by space objects on February 22, 2016. As seen above, our satellite launch is the peaceful and lawful work for aerospace development which was firmly advanced under harsh conditions by our scientists and technicians with the great spirit of creation based on self- reliance and self-development following the national policy of attaching importance to science and technology for the building of the economic power and the improvement in people’s living standards. The achievements are the precious fruition that represents our national pride and self-respect. It is an intolerable hostility to deny the DPRK’s right to the aerospace development. Space development for peaceful purposes is an independent right of a sovereign state which no one can forbid or violate.
It is an intolerable hostility to deny the DPRK’s right to the aerospace development
Our scientific research on space and our manufacturing, launch, control of practical satellites are completely a legitimate right of the sovereign state in full conformity with the space treaty that has stipulated the peaceful use of space as the universal right of all the UN member states. The first article of the Treaty on the Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and other Celestial Bodies reads as follows: “The exploration and the use of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of all countries, irrespective of their degree of economic or scientific development, and shall be the province of all mankind. Outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, shall be free for exploration and use by all States without discrimination of any kind, on a basis of equality and in accordance with international law, and there shall be free access to all area of celestial bodies. There shall be freedom of scientific investigation in outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies and States shall facilitate and encourage international co-operation in such investigation.”
In spite of this, the United Nations Security Council has included the unreasonable provision of prohibiting any kind of launch using the ballistic technology in the Resolution on Sanctions against us. The UNSC’s action of restricting the sovereign state’s right to develop the space by applying the indiscriminate expression “Any kind of launch using the ballistic technology” itself is an obvious violation of the space treaty, which comes as a form of arbitrariness that abuses its mandate of dealing with the issues of world peace and security. It is the official recognition that the satellite launch will require the ballistic rocket technology, and as such, it is nothing but an attempt to deprive us of our right to develop in space forever. The assertion that we must not use the ballistic technology, which can be applied to developing the nuclear delivery means since we have already conducted nuclear tests is completely absurd.
The permanent member states of the UNSC are nuclear powers and are the countries that are launching satellites most frequently. If this is the case, these countries should be condemned for their undisguised and dangerous nuclear arms race against the world denuclearization as their launches of space objects are none other than the ballistic rocket tests which can carry the nuclear warheads. Right now, the fair public opinion of the world is criticizing the U.S., saying that the American way of thinking is what matters is who has done “it” rather that what has been done, despite the fact that all satellite launches use the same technology, the U.S. is trying to define which one is legal and which one is not based on the difference of social system, which is a clear expression of double standard.
An expert on Korean affairs at the Russian Academy commented in his article titled “DPRK is not a den of devil” as follows: the UN resolution not only prohibited the missile launch for military purpose but also any kind of launch by the DPRK. This is a gross violation of the sovereign state’s right to develop in space. An Austrian expert on Korean affairs once said that the launch of the artificial earth satellite itself is a legitimate right of a sovereign state and he also made a sarcastic remark that if the UNSC is to make an issue of the satellite launch by the DPRK, then maybe one day the UNSC might have to pass another resolution on prohibiting the sale of kitchen knives within the commercial network of the DPRK for the fear that knives could be used to kill the people. Unwillingness to recognize our satellite launch precisely means the unwillingness to recognize us as the sovereign state.
Unwillingness to recognize our satellite launch precisely means the unwillingness to recognize us as the sovereign state
In the future, too, we will completely reject the unreasonable UNSC “resolutions” making issues of our independent right of satellite launch, and launch more satellites of Juche Korea into space as per our need and plan. Valuing and protecting its own things is an intrinsic nature and the right of a human being that can never be deprived of. In today’s world, the sovereignty cannot be protected with words and the prosperity and development cannot be achieved by begging; this is the truth felt in our bones through practical experience. It is our unshakable will to hasten the future of great prosperity as early as possible with the great force of self-development by rightfully exercising the force of justice and self-defense against the injustice attempting to infringe upon our sovereignty and dignity. As long as the heinous U.S. hostile policy towards the DPRK continues, we will further strengthen the nuclear deterrence both in terms of quality and quantity as an exercise of our right to self-defense.
Even if the U.S. hostile policy is completely removed in the future, we will continue to launch satellites, which is a legitimate right of a sovereign state. In order to break the vicious cycle of confrontation, escalation of tension and the danger of war and to ensure peace and security on the Korean Peninsula, the U.S. hostile policy of even denying the legitimate right of the sovereign state to launch satellites and its extremely dangerous nuclear threat of mobilizing all the strategic assets must be withdrawn first.
Featured Image: The Expedition 38 crew
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