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China urges calm after North Korea rocket launch plan

BEIJING (Reuters) - China expressed concern but urged a calm response on Sunday after North Korea said it would carry out its second rocket launch of 2012, a move likely to heighten diplomatic tensions in the region.

"We express deep concern at North Korea's announcement that it will launch a satellite, and we have also noted the reaction of the other parties," Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said in a statement.

"North Korea has a right to the peaceful use of space, but this right has been restricted by U.N. Security Council resolutions. (China) hopes all sides can do more to benefit peace and stability on the peninsula, and hopes all sides handle it calmly to avoid the situation escalating," he added.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard and Chen Aizhu; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)

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