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Despite China's concerns, NKorean nuclear envoy defends rocket launch planned in April
BEIJING (AP) ' Despite China's concerns, a senior North Korean nuclear negotiator has reiterated his government's position on a planned long-range rocket launch after holding talks with his counterpart in Beijing.
Ri Yong Ho said Monday outside a government guesthouse in Beijing that the satellite that would be fired next month as part of celebrations of the 100th anniversary of late President Kim Il Sung's birth.
Ri said the launch is separate from recent talks with the United States and North Korea has the right to develop space programs.
China, North Korea's main political and economic ally, expressed rare concern Saturday about the planned launch and called on all parties to exercise restraint.