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Risky launch 'shows leadership problems'
Military has touted satellite launch to flex its muscles, expert saysA North Korean missile launch
- Stephen Hong, Seoul
- March 20, 2012
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 countryâ€™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.
â€œThe 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.
Seoul welcomes US-North agreement
Nuclear decision offers hope for dialogue