The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Saturday criticized the United States for employing double standards on the DPRK's space program and South Korea's rocket launch.
"The U.S. unconditional criticism of our satellite launch and its unconditional approval of a satellite launch by the South are at the height of double standards," an unidentified foreign ministry spokesperson was quoted by the state-run KCNA news agency as saying.
The accusation came three days after South Korea successfully launched its first space rocket, the Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1, putting a satellite into orbit.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Thursday that there was no basis for comparing the rocket programs of the DPRK and South Korea, given that South Korea "has developed its technology responsibly."
Washington and Seoul have long called the DPRK's rocket launch a cover for a test of Pyongyang's banned ballistic missile technology, while Pyongyang has insisted that the test was for peaceful purposes only.
On Jan. 22, the UN Security Council condemned the DPRK's satellite launch last December, demanding the DPRK not proceed with any further launches using ballistic missile technology.
The DPRK on Jan. 24 vowed to conduct more rocket launches and a higher-level nuclear test targeting its "sworn enemy," the United States.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Wednesday that China opposes any moves that might escalate tensions and are not conducive to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
Beijing also calls on all parties to work together to safeguard the peace and stability of the peninsula.