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North Korea to launch ‘satellite’ in April

Friday, March 16, 2012

North Korea says it will launch a rocket carrying a satellite to mark the centenary of the birth of the country’s founder Kim Il Sung.

State-run North Korean media on Friday reported an announcement by the Korean Committee for Space Technology.

The announcement said North Korea will launch a working satellite, Kwangmyongsong 3, between April 12th and 16th from a launch site in Pyongan-pukdo.

It also said the event will deeply inspire the country’s citizens and troops who are striving to create a strong and prosperous nation.

Most countries are likely to regard the coming launch as that of another long-range ballistic missile. The North said the rocket firings in 1998 and 2009 were intended to launch satellites. All involve similar technology.

The announcement is likely draw criticism from abroad as North Korea promised to freeze long-range missile testing last month in talks with the United States.

The past 2 launches were from a launching pad on the Sea of Japan. Parts of the missiles flew over Japan.

North Korea plans to use a launch pad facing the Yellow Sea to fire the rocket in the direction of the south. It is expected to travel west of Japan’s southwestern region of Kyushu.

North Korea said the flight trajectory has been calculated to prevent rocket debris from affecting neighboring nations.

Friday, March 16, 2012