North Korea Announces Planned Satellite Launch

Posted March 16th, 2012 at 3:45 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

North Korea says it will use a long range rocket to launch a satellite next month in honor of late president Kim Il Sung's 100th birthday, which falls on April 15.

In a statement carried by official media, a spokesman for the North's Korean Committee for Space Technology said a long-range Unha-3 rocket would launch a domestic-built polar-orbiting earth observation satellite.

South Korea called the launch a clear violation of U.N. Security Resolution 1874, which bans all launches using ballistic missile technology. The South's foreign ministry said the launch would be a grave provocation threatening the peace and security of the Korean peninsula and Northeast Asia.

Japan also reacted, with a government spokesman telling VOA that Tokyo is “responding by closely collaborating with other concerned governments” including the United States and South Korea.

The launch will take place three years after a similar launch in April of 2009 drew widespread condemnation as a cover for testing North Korea's long-range missile technology.

Pyongyang agreed last month to suspend long-range missile tests as part of a deal under which the U.S. would provide 240,000 tons of food aid.