SEOUL – North Korea defended on Monday its satellite program as a legitimate right and said that it will continue with it, though the international community has regarded the program as a cover for testing missiles.
An article in North Korea’s official newspaper Rodong Sinmun said satellite launches were legitimate and in line with the United Nations Charter and the international law that governs the peaceful use of space.
The article said that Pyongyang will continue to pursue its “peaceful” space development program which follows a global trend, citing satellite launches by other countries around the world, such as Algeria and Venezuela.
On Feb. 7, 2016, the Kim Jong-un regime carried out a satellite launch, an action criticized by the international community as a covert missile launch of a long-distance missile.
The test, along with a nuclear test carried out a month earlier, led to new and stricter UN sanctions on North Korea.
Last month, North Korea carried out its latest weapons test, launching a ballistic missile said to be capable of hitting any part of the continental United States.
The test led to a new round of punitive measures on Pyongyang, approved by the UN Security Council on Friday, aimed at further isolating North Korea, drying up its financial resources and forcing it to start negotiations.