Dec 13, 2012

Taiwan - N. Korea rocket launch 'extremely unwise', says Ma Ying-jeou

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Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou considers it “extremely unwise” for North Korea to generate tensions in East Asia by launching a rocket, his spokesman said Wednesday.

“President Ma believes that the move is extremely unwise and he has expressed his displeasure,” said Presidential Office spokesman Fan Chiang Tai-chi yesterday.

“Government ministries have taken response measures and are keeping abreast of the situation, said Fan Chiang.

Ma said that no matter how Japan, South Korea and the United States choose to respond, ministries have the support of the Republic of China, according to Fan Chiang.

Earlier yesterday, North Korea surprised some in the international community by launching a long-range rocket that may have put a satellite into orbit. The successful blast-off comes a week before South Korea's presidential election.

DPP condemns launch, Ma

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) stands against any provocative act that undermines regional peace and stability, said Chairman Su Tseng-chang at the party's Taipei headquarters. Su also condemned Ma for failing to take preemptive measures.

“North Korea launches a rocket at Taiwan's doorstep. Ma did not take pre-emptive national security measures,” said Su.

The opposition party chairman added that Ma's post-launch response has been insufficient.

“He behaves as if the launch has nothing to do with him. As the leader of the nation, Ma should treat a provocative act at Taiwan's doorstep with an attitude of severe protest,” said Su.

Lack of Cross-strait communication

Also yesterday, the DPP called on Ma to communicate with China regarding human rights issues in Tibet.

Since 2009, more than 100 Tibetans have self-immolated in protest against China rule and the marginalisation of Tibetan culture and religion. The DPP's Central Standing Committee stands with the Tibetans, said party spokesman Lin Chun-hsien.

On Wednesday, the Central Standing Committee passed a formal party resolution requesting that the Ma administration “convey human rights concerns during cross-strait exchanges” and “call on China to face the Tibetans' requests,” according to Lin.

Enru Lin

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