222 Kelly Shang
On December 12, 2012, the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (hereinafter
North Korea; DPRK) stunned the world with its space ambitions by attempting to
launch an Earth-observation satellite.
Although the international community has
repeatedly condemned North Korea prior to the launch for breaching the United
Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolutions 1718
determination still remained unaffected. As todays space technology can be easily
converted to manufacture ballistic missiles, it is a matter of concern that North
Koreas space activities would eventually become a threat to the world security in
The primary objective of this research is to suggest a possible solution in
effectively deterring North Korea from its growing space ambitions. This article
the overview of the present scenario by reviewing the history of North Korean
space launches and the challenges that such activities can bring to the international
security. Part three will examine the current international condemnations against
North Korea for breaching the UNSC Resolutions 1718 and 1874. Here, the author
will address that this UNSC argument cannot afford adequate deterrence to North
Koreas ambitions. Part four will suggest that a more effective solution for North
Koreas neighbouring countries is to advance a sovereignty argument that North
Koreas satellite launching vehicles have trespassed to their territorial airspace. This
part will also discuss a possible counter-argument of North Korea based on a right
of innocent passage over foreign airspace for its space activates because North
Korea is geographically disadvantaged from accessing the outer space without
trespassing the territorial airspace of other countries.
1 Sang-Hun Choe & D. Sanger, North Koreans Launch Rocket in Defiant Act, N.Y. TIMES, Dec. 12, 2012, available
at http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/12/world/asia/north-korea-launches-rocket-defying-likely-sanctions.html (last
visited on Mar. 2, 2013).
2 S.C. Res. 1718, U.N. Doc. S/RES/1718 (Oct. 14, 2006), available at http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.
asp?symbol=S/RES/1718 (2006) (last visited on Mar. 2, 2013). For details, see Eric Yong Joong Lee, Legal Analysis
of the 2006 U.N. Security Council Resolutions against North Korea’s WMD Development, 31 FORDHAM J. INT’L L.
3 S.C. Res. 1874, U.N. Doc. S/RES/1874 (Jun. 12, 2009). See also D. Joyner, Introductory Note to the United Nations
Security Council Resolution 1874, 48:5 I.L.M. 1174-1175 (2009).