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North Korea Plans to Launch Satellite Next Month

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 16-Mar-2012
Updated: 16-Mar-2012 11:36 AM

Saying that it will abide by relevant international regulations and usage concerning the launch of scientific and technological satellites for peaceful purposes, North Korea announced today that it plans to launch a polar orbiting earth observation satellite next month.  The move drew sharp criticism from those who insist that it violates, not abides by, international obligations.

The announcement was reported by South Korea's Yonhap news agency.   South Korea strongly objected to the upcoming launch calling it a "grave provocative act against peace and stability."

The U.S. State Department called it a "highly provocative" act that would violate United Nations Security Council resolutions 1718 and 1874 that "clearly and unequivocally prohibit North Korea from conducting launches that use ballistic missile technology."  The State Department called on North Korea to "adhere to its international obligations" and said it was consulting with "international partners on next steps."

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