Code 48208
PublishDate: Saturday, March 17, 2012 11:34

N.Korea says it will launch rocket next month

Last month Pyongyang agreed to suspend long-range missile tests as part of a food deal with Washington.

The event was scheduled between April 12-16 to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of founding leader Kim Il-Sung, the communist state's official news agency said on Friday.

A Unha-3 rocket would launch a home-built polar-orbiting earth observation satellite known as Kwangmyongsong-3, it quoted a spokesman for the Korean Committee for Space Technology as saying.

The North said such satellites are indispensable for economic development and in line with its policy of the peaceful use of space.

The launch "will greatly encourage the army and people... in the building of a thriving nation", it added.

"A safe flight orbit has been chosen so that carrier rocket debris to be generated during the flight would not have any impact on neighbouring countries," it said, promising to abide by international regulations.

The North used similar arguments to justify its long-range rocket launch on April 5, 2009, saying it put a satellite into space.

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