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Why Is N. Korea Pushing to Launch Satellite Amid International Criticism Updated: 2012-03-19 12:00:00 KST

Why Is N. Korea Pushing to Launch Satellite Amid International Criticism
In defiance of the international community's calls to cancel its satellite launch, North Korea says it will push for the launch, defending its sovereign right to a peaceful use of space.
On Sunday, North Korea's state-run Korean Central News Agency went further criticizing the U.S. and its allies for insisting that the launch would violate UN Security Council resolutions and desribing the criticism as an extension of historic hostilities against North Korea.
The question is: why is the new North Korean regime endangering the recent thaw in its relations with Washington With North Korea's founder . Kim Il-sung's 100th birthday coming up next month, analysts say his grandson and North Korea's new leader, is taking a bold stand in an effort to cement his power.
Having declared 2012 as its auspicious year, Pyeongyang badly needs to demonstrate to the North Korean people that the country is in fact becoming stronger and more prosperous.
North Korea has even said it will open the satellite launch to foreign experts and media for the first time, possibly to show its people that North Korean technology is world class.
Political observers also see North Korea trying to prove it has the upper hand in its relations with the U.S.
While highlighting that it is abiding by international regulations as it plans its launch, North Korea is thought to be applying pressure on the United States which has said the North Korean technology to be used could also be used to carry nuclear warheads or intercontinental ballistic missiles.
With the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit just around the corner and a South Korean general election next month, North Korea appears to have timed its announcement for maximum impact.
Choi You-sun, Arirang News.
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