Wandering China

An East/West pulse of China's fourth rise from down under.

China calls for calm after launch [Global Times]


Global Times: Issuing an appropriate response after North Korea’s failed ‘weather forecast’ Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite launch (understood elsewhere to be a veiled ballistic missile test).

China seems to be leading calls for international diplomatic efforts to keep the calm with resumption of Six-Party talks demonstrating rather incredible self-restraint themselves to tolerate such launches fired regularly in their own backyard. What more – this time to mark leadership legitimacy of the latest Kim in power.

For background, see Inside Multilateralism: The Six-Party talks by John Park (2005)

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China calls for calm after launch
By Yang Jingjie
Source – Global Times, April 14, 2012

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (right) claps as he attends the unveiling ceremony of two statues of former leaders Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il in Pyongyang on Friday. North Korea's new leader on Friday led a mass rally for his late father and grandfather following the country's failed rocket launch. Kim Jong-un was also elected first chairman of the National Defense Commission Friday. Photo: AFP

China has urged all concerned parties to remain calm and demonstrate restraint over the failed satellite launch by North Korea early on Friday, calling for the resumption of the Six-Party Talks.

KCNA, North Korea’s official news agency, reported that the Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite was launched at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station in the country’s northwest region at 7:38 am local time on Friday.

“The earth observation satellite failed to enter its preset orbit. Scientists, technicians and experts are now looking into the cause of the failure,” said the KCNA report.

Following the satellite launch, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said China hopes that all relevant parties can remain calm and demonstrate restraint, maintain contact over the situation on the Korean Peninsula and make efforts to maintain stability and peace in the region.

Yang made the remarks after meeting with his Russian and Indian counterparts in Moscow on Friday.

Yang also called on the parties to restore dialogues, promote mutual understanding and facilitate the resumption of the Six-Party Talks.

The UN Security Council “deplored” on Friday North Korea’s launch but said it would continue talks on an appropriate response, US ambassador to the UN Susan Rice said.

“Members of the Security Council deplored this launch, which is in violation of Security Council resolutions,” Rice, who is president of the council this month, told reporters.

On behalf of China, Russia and India, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday that a new sanction against North Korea is not a good solution to defuse tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

“We are convinced that the responses to the challenge need to be only in diplomatic and political ways,” said Lavrov.

The US, Japan and South Korea said the Unha-3 rocket, which they claimed was a disguised missile test and Pyongyang said was to put a satellite into orbit, flew only for a short time before breaking up and crashing into waters off the Korean Peninsula.

South Korea said it was searching the waters near where the rocket fell for debris.

Fox News quoted a senior US official as saying that the rocket broke apart between 90 seconds and 2 minutes after launching, and that the rocket likely broke apart between the first and second stages of a three-phase process.

A Chinese space technology expert, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Global Times that judging from available information, the failure may have been caused by malfunctions in the rocket’s engine, power supply or control system.

“In another possible scenario, the rocket may have flown off course, so that the North chose to destroy it,” he said.

The White House on Friday released a statement condemning the launch, saying “despite the failure of its attempted missile launch, North Korea’s provocative action threatens regional security, violates international law and contravenes its own recent commitments.”

South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan said in a statement that “North Korea will have to take responsibility (for the launch).”

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said Japan will urge the UN Security Council to take “appropriate action” against North Korea.

Qu Xing, director of the China Institute of International Studies, told the Global Times on Friday that it is crucial to build mutual trust and disperse hostility between the two Koreas in dealing with the tense situation on the Korean Peninsula.

“The Cold War mentality will inevitably lead to an arms race on the Peninsula and prompt Pyongyang to resort to counter-deterrence measures against Washington and Seoul,” Qu said, adding that sanctions would not help change the North but instead push the tense situation into a vicious circle.

AP quoted Ralph Cossa, president of the Pacific Forum CSIS, as saying that “the failure makes it even more likely that the North will now attempt a nuclear test in the not-too-distant future to demonstrate the regime’s power and technical prowess.”

A South Korean intelligence report said North Korea is preparing for what would be its third nuclear test, revealing that excavation for a possible underground blast at the Punggye-ri nuclear testing area is in its final stages.

Liu Ming, director of the Center for Korea Studies under the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times that whether the North would carry out a third nuclear test would be decided by the next steps taken by Washington, Seoul and Tokyo.

“If the three parties hold a tough position at the UN Security Council, it would only push Pyongyang into a corner,” Liu said.

Also on Friday, Kim Jong-un was elected first chairman of the National Defense Commission (NDC), KCNA reported.

The election came during the fifth session of the 12th Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA), where delegates also venerated late leader Kim Jong-il as eternal chairman of the powerful commission.

“The fifth session of the 12th SPA of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) elected Kim Jong-un, first secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK), supreme commander of the Korean People’s Army and supreme leader of the WPK and people of the DPRK, as first chairman of the NDC of the DPRK,” the KCNA said.

Other issues discussed in the session included “revising and supplementing the Socialist Constitution of the DPRK,” assessing the work of the cabinet in 2011 and setting its tasks for 2012, reviewing the 2011 national budget and developing the 2012 national budget, among others.

Agencies contributed to this story

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Culture, Foreign aid, global times, Government & Policy, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, North Korea, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Soft Power, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

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