Friday, March 16, 2012

DPRK Satellite Launch Attempt Announced for Next Month

From the ROK Yonhap News Agency:

SEOUL, March 16 (Yonhap) -- North Korea said Friday that it will launch its indigenously built long-range missile, Kwangmyongsong-3, next month in celebration of the centenary of the birth of the North's late founding leader, Kim Il-sung, which falls on April 15.

"Kwangmyongsong-3, a polar-orbiting earth observation satellite, will be blasted off southward from the Sohae Satellite Launching Station in Cholsan County, North Phyongan Province between April 12 and 16, lifted by carrier rocket Unha-3," a spokesman for the North's Korean Committee for Space Technology said in a statement.

"A safe flight orbit has been chosen so that carrier rocket debris to be generated during the flight would not have any impact on neighboring countries... The DPRK will strictly abide by relevant international regulations and usage concerning the launch of scientific and technological satellites for peaceful purposes and ensure maximum transparency," said the spokesman, using the abbreviation of North's official name.