China expresses concerns over North Korea’s plan to launch rocket

Beijing, Mar 17: China has expressed concern over North Korea’s decision to launch a rocket mounted with a satellite next month.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun met with North Korea’s ambassador to the country, Ji Jae Ryong to express Bejing’s worry over the matter.

Zhang said China had taken note of North Korea’s satellite plan as well as the reaction from the international community.

“China believes it is the common obligation, and in common interests of, all parties concerned to maintain the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and northeast Asia,” Xinhua quoted Zhang, as saying.

“We sincerely hope parties concerned stay calm and exercise restraint and avoid escalation of tension that may lead to a more complicated situation,” he added.

North Korea recently announced that it would launch an “earth observation” satellite, or the Kwangmyongsong-3, using a long-range rocket to mark the 100th birthday of late leader Kim Il-Sung.

North Korea’s state run media quoted a spokesman for the Korean Committee for Space Technology, as saying that the satellite would be launched from a station in North Phyongan province between April 12 and 16. (ANI)