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North Korea to launch rocket, sparking Western fears

Category: Headlines

Published: 16th Mar 2012 07:15:36

North Korea will launch a satellite mounted on a rocket to mark the 100th birthday of its late former President Kim Il-sung, state media reported.

It will take place between 12 and 16 April, a spokesman for the Korean Committee for Space Technology said.

The move is seen as violating UN Security Council resolutions passed after a similar launch in 2009.

South Korea said the launch would be a "grave provocation threatening the peace and security" in the area.

Japan is also particularly concerned as North Korea's April 2009 rocket was launched over the country then.

Last month, Pyongyang agreed to suspend long-range missile tests.

The agreement was part of a deal for the United States to supply 240,000 tonnes of food aid to North Korea.

In the launch three years ago, Pyongyang said the satellite made it into orbit and characterised it as a test of its satellite technology.

The move drew condemnation from the US and South Korea and led to the UN resolutions prohibiting the North from nuclear and ballistic missile activity.

Foreign officials said there were no indications that a satellite had reached space and that the launch was a cover for Pyongyang to test long-range missile technology.

The launch next month of a ''working satellite'', the Kwangmyongsong-3, is an opportunity for ''putting the country's technology of space use for peaceful purposes on a higher stage'', said a North Korean spokesman.

The rocket would be launched from the Solace Satellite Launching Station in Cholsan county, North Pyongan province on the country's west coast.

State media also reported that the North has already launched two experimental satellites.

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BBC News, 2012. North Korea to launch rocket, sparking Western fears [Online] (Updated 16th Mar 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1416797/North-Korea-to-launch-rocket-sparking-Western-fears [Accessed 23rd Aug 2014]

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