Kelly Kuan Shang Maastricht University Faculty of Law
P.O. Box 616, NL-6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands.
Corresponding Author: email@example.com
ⓒ Copyright YIJUN Institute of International Law
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In deterring North Korea from pursuing its space ambitions, the neighboring States may consider to advance a sovereignty argument that North Korea's overflying rockets have trespassed to their territorial airspace. The current UNSC Resolution-based arguments may not provide adequate deterrence because they are built upon a unilateral interpretation of the UNSC Resolutions and therefore lack legal persuasiveness. Currently, there is seemingly a strong international consensus favoring the demarcation line between airspace and outer space at approximately 100-120 kilometers above the sea level. As the North Korean rockets will likely overflow foreign territories when reaching to this altitude, a trespass claim should therefore have strong legal merits. Moreover, North Korea cannot raise a defense by claiming a right of innocent passage over foreign airspace, because such right does not exist as a customary international law. Even if such right exists, North Korea will be hard to rely on it because its overflying rockets are hardly 'innocent.'
Keywords: Satellite Launch, Air Sovereignty, NPT, Outer Space Treaty, Ballistic Missile, Right of Innocent Passage.
The Full Text is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.14330/jeail.2013.6.1.10