Archive for Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Satellite launch being prepared, agency says

February 24, 2009

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— North Korea said today it is preparing to shoot a satellite into orbit, its clearest reference yet to an impending launch that neighbors and the U.S. suspect will be a provocative test of a long-range missile.

The statement from the North’s space technology agency comes amid growing international concern that the communist nation is gearing up to fire a version of its most advanced missile — one capable of reaching the U.S. — within a week, in violation of a U.N. Security Council resolution.

North Korea asserted last week that it bears the right to “space development” — words the regime has used in the past to disguise a missile test. In 1998, North Korea test-fired a Taepodong-1 ballistic missile over Japan and then claimed to have put a satellite into orbit.

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