[FPSPACE] NK satellite launch will take place in early April (4th through the 8th)
pjp961 at svol.net
Thu Mar 12 09:33:18 EDT 2009
>From Agency France Presse
N.Korea to launch satellite in early April: SKorea
Published: Thursday March 12, 2009
North Korea has scheduled a satellite launch for early next month, South
Korean officials said Thursday, as Washington and Seoul told Pyongyang to
scrap what they see as a disguised missile test.
Pyongyang informed the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) that it
will fire a rocket to launch the satellite between April 4-8, an official at
Seoul's maritime affairs ministry said.
Citing information from the IMO, the official said the North had told the UN
regulatory agency of two risk areas, one in the Pacific Ocean and the other
in the Sea of Japan (East Sea).
"The IMO is currently working on an official safety notice, which it will
soon hand out to its member countries," the official told AFP on condition
Earlier, North Korea said it had provided "necessary information for the
safe navigation of planes and ships" as part of preparations for launching
"an experimental communications satellite."
South Korean and US officials believe the real intention is to test a
Taepodong-2 missile which could theoretically reach Alaska.
The nuclear-armed North has asserted its right to peaceful space research
and says any attempt to shoot down its rocket will be seen as an act of war.
There have been reports for weeks that the North is preparing to test-fire
the Taepodong-2 from a base at Musudan-ri on the northeast coast.
The Taepodong-2 failed after 40 seconds when first launched in July 2006 but
the UN Security
tml##> Council passed a resolution calling for a halt to such tests.
Three months after that, the North staged an atomic weapons test. But it is
unclear whether it has the capability to manufacture a nuclear warhead.
Seoul's Yonhap news agency said a missile has not yet been set upright at
Musudan-ri but that launch preparations could be completed within two weeks.
The North's newly elected parliament, the Supreme People's Assembly, is
expected to meet in early April to re-elect leader Kim Jong-Il as chairman
of the National Defence Commission.
Some analysts say this would be seen as an appropriate launch time.
Tensions are already high after Pyongyang ordered its military on combat
alert and banned South Korean airlines from its airspace. It was protesting
at an ongoing US-South Korean military exercise, which it sees as a
rehearsal for invasion.
The US intelligence chief Dennis Blair said Tuesday the North does indeed
appear to be planning a space launch but that the technology
tml##> involved is indistinguishable from a missile test.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Wednesday that the United States,
China and other negotiating partners were willing to discuss a range of
responses, even UN action, if North Korea test-fires a missile.
The two Koreas, the US, China, Russia and Japan are members of a six-party
forum negotiating an end to the North's nuclear programmes.
"We are outspoken in our opposition to the North Koreans' missile launch,
and we believe that that is a unified position and that each of the members
of the six-party talks have attempted to dissuade North Korea from
proceeding," Clinton said after talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang
She said the partners were willing to respond to any launch "in a variety of
ways, including the Security Council."
State media said North Korea has also joined an international treaty and
convention on the peaceful use of space.
South Korea's foreign ministry confirmed Pyongyang this month sent relevant
documents to Russia's foreign ministry and to the United Nations.
"The North's accession to the treaty is aimed at paving the way for claiming
that the launch, which may come in the future, is to put a satellite in
orbit," said spokesman Moon Tae-Young.
"Irrespective of those moves, such a launch would be a breach of UN
Japan's government said it "would not tolerate" a North Korean act that
raises regional tensions.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the FPSPACE