North Korea closely watching South Korea's satellite launch plans

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Seoul (South Korea), Aug.10 (ANI0: The North Korean Government said Monday it was closely watch the international response to South Korea's planned satellite launch after Pyongyang was brought before the UN Security Council for what it said was a similar move.

South Korea plans to launch a satellite into space for the first time next week. Though no exact date has been scheduled for the launch, it may take place as early as August 18.

Pyongyang said its April rocket launch also carried a satellite and was part of its peaceful space development program. However, the US and neighboring countries said it actually tested advanced missile technology that violated UN sanctions imposed on Pyongyang.

The Security Council subsequently slapped new sanctions on three North Korean companies after the launch.

Pyongyang, in response, quit nuclear disarmament talks with the US, ROK, Japan, China and Russia, arguing the sanctions violated the talks' principle of respect for sovereignty and equality.

On Monday, Pyongyang's Foreign Ministry said it "will closely watch" how members of six-party nuclear talks would respond to Seoul's launch, because that "will once again clearly prove whether the principle of equality exists or has collapsed."

A ministry statement-carried by the official Korean Central News Agency-did not say what action North Korea would take if Seoul's launch were not referred to the Security Council.

Under a 2007 six-party deal, North Korea had pledged to abandon its nuclear program in exchange for aid and security guarantees. The disarmament process, however, has been stalled since last year over a disagreement with Washington over how to verify Pyongyang's past atomic activities. (ANI)

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