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North Korea snubs Obama over satellite launch

United Kingdom,Diplomacy, Tue, 27 Mar 2012 IANS

London, March 27 (IANS) In a snub to US President Barack Obama over his appeal to North Korea about its satellite-launch plan in April, Pyongyang Tuesday vowed to go ahead with its plan, reported The Telegraph.


Obama and various other world leaders arrived in the South Korean capital to participate in a two-day nuclear security summit, which concluded Tuesday, to discuss ways to combat nuclear terrorism.


North Korea's plan to launch a long-range rocket next month overshadowed the 53-nation summit which focussed on the threat of uranium and other nuclear material from falling into the hands of terrorists.


Obama has devoted much of his three-day South Korean visit to its wayward neighbour, repeatedly denouncing the rocket launch while emphasising the US is not hostile to North Koreans.


On Tuesday, Pyongyang responded by saying it would go ahead with what it calls a peaceful satellite launch, saying every nation had this right, and called on Obama to drop his "confrontational mindset", reported the British daily.


"The US head of state said he had no hostile intention towards us," reported the official KCNA news agency citing a North Korean foreign ministry spokesman as saying.


"But if that remark is genuine, he should abandon the confrontational mindset that tries to block us, and should have the courage to admit that we have as much right to launch our satellite as other countries do," it added.


The US, Japan, South Korea and many other countries believe the launch would in fact be a long-range missile test, banned under UN resolutions and breaching US-North Korean deal to freeze nuclear activities.


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