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North Korea: Risky Satellite Launch ‘Shows Leadership Problems’


By Stephen Hong

Pyongyang’s intended satellite launch could be the result of problems at the top of the leadership, an expert on North Korea has said.

North Korea announced on March 16 that it would launch “an observation satellite” into space on the back of a long-range missile between April 12 and 16, as part of celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of the country’s founder Kim Il-sung on April 15.

Park Jong-chul, director of the Center for Unification Policy Studies, said the move is a risk considering recent progress in dialogue with the US.

“The move suggests its new leader Kim Jong-un has succumbed to the military’s demand to allow it to flex its muscles,” he said.

The announcement of the launch sparked widespread international condemnation and cast doubts over an agreement with the US which was to provide 240,000 tons of food aid in exchange for a North Korean moratorium on nuclear testing and uranium enrichment activities.

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The Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News, UCAN) is the leading independent Catholic news source in Asia. A network of journalists and editors that spans East, South and Southeast Asia, UCA News has for four decades aimed to provide the most accurate and up-to-date news, feature, commentary and analysis, and multimedia content on social, political and religious developments that relate or are of interest to the Catholic Church in Asia.

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