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NKorea could use rocket to develop missile: paper

North Korea could use its upcoming satellite launch to develop missile technology and increase its negotiating clout with the United States, a pro-Pyongyang newspaper said on Saturday on its website.

world Updated: Apr 04, 2009 17:11 IST

North Korea could use its upcoming satellite launch to develop missile technology and increase its negotiating clout with the United States, a pro-Pyongyang newspaper said on Saturday on its website."If a country develops a rocket, it will have the capability to develop missiles," Choson Sinbo, published in Japan, said in a commentary.The paper often reflects Pyongyang's official thinking.Its comment on what the North calls the launch of a communications satellite appeared on the website early today but was deleted later.

The North has announced it will launch a communications satellite for peaceful purposes between April 4-8.Washington, Seoul and Tokyo say the exercise is a disguised test of a long-range Taepodong-2 ballistic missile.They vow to take the launch to the UN Security Council as a breach of a resolution passed after the North's 2006 missile and nuclear tests.

Touting the upcoming launch as "a landmark in the construction of a powerful nation," Choson Sinbo said rocket technology could be used commercially or diverted to military purposes.It said the satellite launch would prompt Pyongyang's enemies to change policy "in a positive direction.